The Crystal Palace, from where the park gets its name, was actually demolished and replaced in 1951. It was created for the International Exhibition (Exposição Internacional do Porto) that took place in 1865. This world fair was a truly global event and drew over three thousand exhibitors from around the globe. The "Palácio de Crystal Portuense" was inspired by London's Crystal Palace built for the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park in 1851.
Its replacement structure, the Pavilhão Rosa Mota, was built to host the Roller-Hockey World Cup in 1952. It still holds sporting and other cultural events throughout the year. It is also home to a permanent multimedia library, auditorium and restaurant. Since 2019, and after some extensive restructuring, it is now officially called the Super Bock Arena.
Rua de Dom Manuel II, 4050-346 Porto, Portugal | 41° 08′ 48.8″ N | 08° 37′ 33.5″ W
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Surrounding the Pavilhão Rosa Mota are eight hectares of parkland and contains a lake, themed gardens, terraces, footpaths, exotic trees and flowerbeds. The park is well equipped for families with seating areas, cafés, playground and picnic areas. There's also several fountains and statues spread throughout. The architect of the gardens, Émile Davide, was influenced by the English romantic style, which was popular during the second half of the 19th century. As you enter, you'll encounter the geometric layout of the garden immediately. To the left and right are a pair of fountains. In front, there is a lawn divided into four quadrants representing the seasons.
The modern-looking building further to the right is the Biblioteca Municipal Almeida Garrett public library. Leading away from the library is the Avenida das Tílias (Linden Avenue) which leads to the Capela de Carlos (Charles) Alberto, a chapel dedicated to the King of Sardinia and Piemonte, who was in exile in Porto before his death in 1849. It was built on the request of his sister Augusta de Montleart to honour his memory and his struggle to free Northern Italy from the Austrian Empire.
On the opposite side of the Pavilion, several terraces have breathtaking views over the Douro River below. The first terrace contains the rose garden (Jardim do Roseiral). The yellow building here is, although unoccupied, the official residence for Porto’s mayor.
There are also several themed gardens; a terraced garden dedicated to aromatic plants (Jardim das Plantas Aromaticas) and on the western end a 19th-century romanticism-styled mansion (Quinta da Macieirinha), which houses The Romantic Museum. Also tucked away within the park are a couple of interesting chapels, one belonging to Charles Albert of Sardinia (Capela de Carlos Alberto da Sardenha). On the West side of the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal house in the Quinta da Macieirinha is the Museu Romântico, a museum dedicated to Romanticism.
High Season: 08h00 - 21h00, Low Season: 08h00 - 19h00
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