Torre de los Clérigos (Cleric’s Tower)
240 steps and you’ll be rubbing up against the Porto skyline.
240 steps and 76 metres in height separate the apex of this tower – one of the most recognisable and tempting symbols of the city – from the solidity of the Rua de Sao Filipe de Nery, which can be easily reached on foot by walking from the famous Avenida dos Aliados. All of which means that it is an obligatory stopping-off point for any self-respecting visitor, and it is not for nothing that it was deemed to be the city’s tallest building until towards the end of the last century (an honour boasted nowadays by the Vasco de Gama Tower in Lisbon.) Designed by the architect Nicolau Nasoni in the baroque style,the aerial view from its summit will not leave any bold adventurers who manage to get up to it, cold. Once up there, it is particularly worthwhile to cast an eye over the front and let yourself be enraptured by the Cordoaria gardens, laid out in the neoclassical pombaline style. As can easily be deduced from a city whose daily life has revolved around harbours for centuries, the Torre de los Clérigos (Cleric’s Tower), which was built between 1735 and 1763, traditionally served as a lighthouse for all those boat journeys wishing to end at Cais de Ribeira. Entry into this tower costs 2 euros a ticket, and it is popularly known as “Hangman’s Hill”, since within its walls are buried those recipients of the hangman’s justice, and close by the eponymous church rises up on the skyline, and this can be visited free of charge.