Skip to main content

Cultures, Museums and Heritage - Historic Buildings

The community and buildings of the University of Porto contribute to its history every single day. Discover U.Porto's heritage.

Can the history of an institution be kept between the four walls of a building? In the case of the U.Porto, our legacy is written every day between modern buildings harmoniously integrated in the urban landscape and a set of buildings that are testimonies of almost 250 years of an extraordinary history.

Among these spaces, stands out the University's Historic Building, located in Praça Gomes Teixeira (or "Praça dos Leões").

The "mother house" of the University was built on the foundations of the Colégio dos Meninos Órfãos and the Church of Nossa Senhora da Graça (17th century). The Royal Navy and Trade Academy and, later, the Polytechnic Academy of Porto, both predecessors of the University of Porto, were installed here.

After the creation of the University, in 1911, the building became home to the Rectory, the Faculty of Science (1911-2006), the Technical Faculty (1915-1937), the 1st Faculty of Arts (1919) and the Faculty of Economics (1953-1974).

Following the fire that destroyed part of the building, in 1974, the services of the Rectory were transferred to another localiton. They would return in 2007, after the move of the Faculty of Sciences to the Campo Alegre campus.

Currently, and besides the Rectory services, the Central Centre of the Museum of Natural History and Science (MHNC-UP), the Common House, the University of Porto Shop and the historical Old Collection Library are located here.

Other historical buildings of the University of Porto

Other historic buildings

The range of historical buildings of the University of Porto also includes the old building of the Oporto Medical-Surgical School, which housed the Faculty of Medicine until it was transferred to the S. João Hospital in 1960, and the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, between 1975 and 2012.

Also worthy of a visit are Palacete Braguinha (headquarters of the Faculty of Fine Arts) and the Rua dos Bragas Building (former "home" of the Faculty of Engineering and current seat of the Faculty of Law), the latter inaugurated in 1937 on the occasion of the Centenary of the Polytechnic Academy.

In addition to the teaching spaces, a tour of the history of the University of Porto also includes visits to the impressive Serra do Pilar Meteorological Observatory (headquarters of the Geophysical Institute of the University of Porto), the Marine Zoology Station (the first aquarium in Porto, created in 1914 in Foz do Douro) and the pioneering Professor Manuel de Barros Astronomical Observatory, located in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Our museological, cultural and scientific research spaces are also a fundamental part of our heritage.

At the end of the day, we suggest a moment of relaxation in one of the many green spaces - some of them also historical! - of the U.Porto.

Discover our Historic buildings!

Discover the U.Porto's Historical buildings!

Map iconography information