Monday, May 06, 2013

Porto Belo Market on Carlos Alberto Square and the Carmo and Carmelite Churches

Let’s shift quickly back to Porto, Portugal for now. I was there last month on a long weekend trip and another open air market that I discovered while walking aimlessly around town is the ‘Mercado Porto Belo’ on Praca de Carlos Alberto.

Mercado Porto Belo on Praca de Carlos Alberto

Carlos Alberto (statue) is the King of Sardinia (this was before Italy became a unified Italy) who abdicated the throne in favour of his son and went to exile in Porto, Portugal. He eventually died in Portugal.

The market is open every Saturday (not sure during the winter?) between 14:00 and 20:00 and showcases artisan products, antique furnitures and items, vintage clothing and fashion accessories, gourmet food, books and even a stand selling cocktails on the go such as mojitos and caipirinhas. Unlike the Clerigos Market (open only every last Saturday of the month), Porto Belo Market is very laid back. You can even sit here on the plaza and enjoy a cocktail while listening to music (it was reggae music when I was there) blasting from massive speakers and watching shoppers go by.

This has got to be one of the trendy, relaxed and coolest markets and outdoor places in Porto.

Carmo Church and Carmelite Church

Further down the road crossing Rua Carmo are the blue tile churches annexed to each other ‘Carmo Church’ (right) and ‘Carmelite Church’ (left). In Portuguese, Igreja dos Carmo - Igreja dos Carmelitas.

The Carmelite Church is built in baroque style in the first half of the 17th century whereas the Carmo Church is in rococo style and built around the 18th century. The outside of the church (right side) is panelled with blue azulejos tiles depicting the Carmelite Order. The interior is covered with gilded wood carvings and oil paintings.

Old Tram Stop

The old trams can be found parking in front of the old churches beside Porto University on Praca Parada Leitao. Line 18 and 22 passes here.

To learn more about the old trams in Porto go here: Porto Old Trams

If visiting Porto on a Satuday, do check out this area, Praca de Carlos Alberto. This is very near to the Clerigos Tower.

Travel Period: April 2013
Destination: Porto (Grande Porto), Portugal

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