The two cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia face each other from opposite sides of the Douro river - Porto in the north bank and Gaia in the south. Six Pontes, or bridges, in total, join them. Of those, Ponte Dona Maria and Ponte Dom Luís, the two oldest ones, were built in the 19th century, respectively by Gustave Eiffel and by his partner in business, Théophile Seyrig. Ponte da Arrábida, Ponte de São João and Ponte do Freixo date from the 20th century, while the newest one, Ponte Infante Dom Henrique, is no older than the 21st century.
Being one of the oldest cities in Europe, Porto is proud of its well preserved historical quarter and was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1996. Porto and Gaia are further connected by the famous Port wine, traditionally stored in wine cellars that over the years have been built in Gaia and act as a magnet for tourists visiting Northern Portugal. There stand the names of the English families that left their winemaking mark in the Douro region over the centuries: Taylor, Sandeman, Graham or Croft, to name but a few.
Fine wine and the Douro River may be the lifeblood of the two cities, but visitors will also benefit from a widely varied cultural offer. The Serralves Foundation - with its vast collection of contemporary art and amazing gardens - the House of Music - a multidisciplinary place where you can listen to great music and much more - or Oporto Cathedral, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, are some of the unmissable features north of the river. Also worth mentioning, on the south margin, are the Grijó Monastery (16 th/17th century), the Serra do Pilar Monastery (16th century) or Casa Barbot, a unique example of the Art Nouveau style in the city.