Global Treasures IGREJA DE SAO FRANCISCO Church of St Francis Porto, Portugal
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Since the early foundation of Porto in Roman times, the Douro River has been an important lifeline for the second largest city in Portugal. Its outstanding landmark, the Igreja De Sao Francisco, rises up above the steep riverbank and over a nostalgic tramline.
During the economic and cultural flowering period of the city, the plain Igreja De Sao Francisco of those days was transformed into a splendid building. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a vast amount of money was donated to the church and this assisted in creating the historic masterpiece of today.
No expense was spared by the local citizens. It is thought that more than 200 kilograms of gold leaf was used to adorn the church. Even today, the highly detailed quality of the woodcarvings highlights the magnificent craftsmanship of bygone times. Whether the pulpit or the many paintings, the abundance of exquisite workmanship is simply astonishing and unique in the whole of Porto, an impressive fantasy of marble and gold.
Global Treasures - History''s Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa''s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world''s heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.