Jardines del Palacio de Cristal (Glass Palace Gardens)
More than 9 exciting green hectares which will make your head spin.
Forget pavements for a while!
If what you need is to get away from the pavement, you’ve come to the right place; the Jardines del Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens) are a grand natural space of 9.57 hectares situated in the upper part of the city, which offer unrivalled views over Porto and the outflow of the Duero into the Atlantic ocean. They were laid out in 1860 by the German landscaper Émile David to house the palace from which it takes its name. It is possible to discern several distinctly themed areas, amongst them being Jardín de Plantas Aromáticas,(Aromatic Herb Garden) el Jardín de las Plantas Medicinales,(Medicinal Herb Garden) el Jardín Romántico(The Romantic Garden), or Jardín de los Sentimientos (The Garden of Feelings).The acclaimed Émile David garden is worthy of special mention; rhododendrons, monkey puzzle trees, camellias, gingkos and beeches may all be viewed, and it possesses fountains and statues which represent the four seasons. The main route to the gardens is the Avenida de los Tilos, site of the Concha Acústica (Conch Shell Acoustic Hall), a small open air auditorium for concerts, and la Biblioteca Municipal Almeida Garrett (The Almeida Garrett Municipal Library) and the Capilla de Carlos Alberto de Cerdeña. (The Carlos Alberto de Cerdeña Chapel).The Crystal Palace, on the other hand, was built in 1861, similar to the one in London, and in 1865 was the privileged host site of the International Porto Exhibition. After being torn down in 1951, the Rosa Mota Pavillion was built in its stead, which carries on being called by its popular name of the Crystal Palace. Designed both for sporting events and for the staging of festivals and concerts, it has a 5,000 audience capacity. The whole complex is set off by a giant dome over 30 metres high.