Porto is Portugal's second largest city and the capital of the Northern region, and a busy industrial and commercial center. The city itself isn't very populous (about 240,000 inhabitants), but the Porto metropolitan area has some 1,500,000 inhabitants in a 50 km radius, with cities like Vila Nova de Gaia, Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim and Espinho.
The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the Romans referred to it as Portus Calle, which is the origin of the entire country's name.
The city is officially styled "a muito nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto" (the very noble, always faithful, and invincible city of Porto). This is usually shortened to "a Cidade Invicta" (the invincible city) a title won because of Porto's unparalleled resistance against Napoleonic troops during the Peninsular war. Residents of Porto are nicknamed the Tripeiros, or tripe eaters. This is based on the legend of the city's inhabitants going without meat in order to provision the fleet (which left from Porto) that left to conquer Ceuta in North Africa in 1415. As the story goes, they had to subsist on tripe soup, which is a specialty of the city. Read more