Rotunda da Boavista, also known as Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque or simply ‘The Boavista Roundabout’, is one of the largest squares (or circles, rather) in Porto.
The central feature of the square is a statue dedicated to the heroes of the Peninsular War fought from 1808–1814, which was when Napoleon ordered his French troops to take over Portugal in an attempt to cut the country’s trade with Britain.
At 45 metres tall the statue is hard to miss, and, given the plentitude of pigeons in Porto, it’s prudent to keep your mouth shut when ogling at the lion pancaking an eagle atop the central column.
The lion and eagle sum up the story however, with the lion representing the British and Portuguese alliance (which is the oldest alliance in history with the first formal treaty signed in 1386), and the eagle representing the French forces of Napoleon. As you probably gathered, the alliance won.
While you’re there, have a poke around Boavista, one of Porto’s ritziest suburbs. The architecture changes as you enter this ‘hood so it’s an interesting contrast to the historic city centre. Nearby you’ll find the concert hall Casa da Música and the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. If you want to do the swanky suburb hop, continue on to Foz then walk back into town along the Douro River.
The Portugal Wire is the blog of Australian travel writer, copywriter and photographer Emily McAuliffe.
Things you might not know about Portugal
A brief history of Portugal
Who was the first person to sail around the world? (Hint: he was Portuguese ... and then he wasn't)
A quick overview of Portugal's economy
25 April: a shared day in history for Australia and Portugal
Portugal's bridges: go big or go home
Portugal and Spain: same same but different?
Interesting facts about Porto
Traditional Portuguese food: what to eat and drink in Portugal
Who are they? Famous names on the streets of Portugal
Interesting facts about Lisbon
Uncovering Porto's secret gardens
Lonely Planet Instagram takeover: sharing some of my favourite hidden spots in Portugal
In the news... my feature in Portugal's national newspaper Diário de Notícias
On board the Presidential train in Portugal's Douro Valley
When the lion mauled the eagle (Porto)
Kicking design goals: Cristiano Ronaldo & Pestana's CR7 hotels
Lovely Lisbon: my top picks of where to eat, drink, visit and stay in Portugal's capital city
Porto street art: fighting the good fight
The best places to visit in Lisbon: 5 of my favourite neighbourhoods
Big waves in Nazaré: my favourite beach town in Portugal
Best things to do in Porto
Portuguese wine: yes, the wines of Portugal extend far beyond port
Portuguese architecture Part I: Manueline style
Portuguese architecture Part II: Pombaline style
When is the best time to visit Portugal?
Food to try in Porto: northern Portuguese cuisine explained
Filigree designs: the beauty behind traditional Portuguese jewellery