Ninth International Workshop on Non-Crystalline Solids

The Porto City Hall put forward a formal candidature to UNESCO in 1993 for the classification of the Porto Historic Centre as World Heritage, aware of the importance of this initiative for the international community and for the city as well. The process was given a decisive impulse in 1996, when UNESCO's World Heritage Committee gave its approval. The candidature was organised by CRUARB (Municipal Project for the Urban Renovation of the Porto Historic Centre), together with several specialised City Hall departments. UNESCO's decision was greatly influenced by the quality of the urban and social renovation works, especially those supporting the local population and boosting cultural and sport activities, which have been successfully introduced throughout the area now classified as World Heritage.

 With around 267.000 inhabitants, the City of Porto has carefully preserved its architectonic treasures, including monuments in the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-classical style.

Stock-Exchange Palace 1 . A national monument, the Stock-Exchange Palace is the headquarters of the Porto Commercial Association. It was built in neo-classical style in the second half of the 19th century. Located in the centre of the city, it is one of the most visited monuments, notably for its renowned Arabian Hall.

Cathedral See 2 . As the main religious building of the diocese, the Sé Catedral (the Cathedral See) presents itself as the gauge centre of aesthetic environments in successive transformation works. Those artistic solutions irradiate from here to its direct influence area.

In the long history of the Porto Cathedral, three stages stand out: in medieval times, the foundation, which granted it its architectural outline; in modern times, the transformation of the building, conditioned by the Catholic Reformation, makes it take on a coherent image where the interior arts – such as woodcarving, painting, plaster and others– are its main speech; the last one, dating from the 20 th century, consisted of the controversial interference of the National Monuments, which intended to purge it from its Baroque ambience, to lead it to the formal purism of the period that delineated it.

Clérigos Church 3 . The buildings of the Confraternity of Clergymen comprise the Church, the House of the Clergymen (secretariat and infirmary) and the Tower, and are the most representative of the activity of the painter/architect Nicolau Nasoni in Porto , the city where he worked from 1725 to the time of his death in 1773. Born in Italy , Nasoni transferred to the city - after a stay in Rome - an artistic language that spread from painting to architecture. With the spatial conception of Clérigos, he asserted himself as a bearer of an expression that goes beyond what is merely ornamental, and thus became a full architect of the Roman Baroque as regards contents and form. The unusual elliptical nave of the church, among the other religious spaces of the city, alongside the careful treatment of the elevations and the covering system, justify his mastery of the art of conceiving spaces. He also knew how to take advantage of the building's localisation, by placing the rear tower on the highest side of the area, thus making it the greatest emblem of the city.

Real Companhia Velha Port Wine Cellars 4 . Grape growing in the Douro Region dates back to pre-historic times. In Bronze Age burying-grounds, grape seeds and even carbonised vine-shoots have been found. With the Roman occupation, grape-growing underwent a large scale expansion-excavations carried out on the left bank of the Douro River clearly confirm the development and prosperity that the vine brought to the Douro Region. Porto has had acclaims as no other wine in the world. Over 300 years of a well established reputation give to Porto the recognition of being the wine that can age longer than any other.

In 2006 Real Companhia Velha celebrates 250 years of existence and uninterrupted activity on behalf of the Porto Wine trade. What makes Real Companhia Velha unique is the way its own history is intimately linked to the history of the Porto Wine trade and to the history of Portugal itself. Real Companhia Velha is the leading producer of Porto and the largest owner of Premium land in the Douro Valley . The Company owns some of the Douro´s finest Quintas, located in the very best areas of the Region, having its cellars on the left bank of the Douro River , just facing Porto .
At the cellars the silence of its vaults, the wine is kept in barrels of noble wood, the work made by coopers, who have served the Company for many generations.
There, asleep in a unique peacefulness, barrels and vats are lost in time... 10, 20... 30 years...The time it takes for each wine to reach its exact point of maturity.

For more information on Porto, please visit the website: