Rua de Santa Catarina
Rua de Santa Catarina, Porto, at its intersection with Rua Formosa. World-famous for its port wine, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal (after Lisbon). A small Celtic settlement on the Douro River south bank, it became an important trading post under the Romans. The town was called Portus Cale, and later Portucale, which is the origin of the name Portugal. The Visigoths took possession of the site in 540 and lasted until 716 when the Moors established their rule. Almost four centuries later, in 1092, Porto was brought back under Christian domination. In 1387, John I of Portugal and his future wife, Philippa of Lancaster, chose Porto as a setting for their wedding which would mark the beginning of long-standing alliance between Portugal and England. In the 14th and the 15th centuries the importance of Porto grew as its shipyards contributed to the emergence of the Portuguese fleet. Henry the Navigator was born here and it was from Porto that he set sail to explore the western areas of Africa. This journey marked the beginning of the Age of Discoveries and eventually laid the foundation for the Portuguese Empire. The city flourished from the overseas trade, with many fine buildings, churches and palaces built. With the old town well preserved, Porto is a major tourist destination [May 24, 2018].