Going to Ribeira Square? Get answers from our friendly locals
Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
The Ribeira Square is a historical square in Porto, Portugal. It is included in the historical centre of the city, designated World Heritage by UNESCO. The square is located in the historical district of Ribeira (riverside in Portuguese), part of the Sao Nicolau parish. The Ribeira district spreads alongside the Douro river and used to be a centre of intense commercial and manufacturing activity since the Middle Ages.
Also since that time the Ribeira Square was the site of many shops that sold fish, bread, meat and other goods. In 1491 the buildings around the square were destroyed in a fire, and the houses were rebuilt with arcades in their groundfloors. During this rebuilding campaign the square also gained a pavement made of stone slabs.
The northern part of the square has a monumental fountain, three storeys high, built in the 1780s and decorated with the coat-of-arms of Portugal. The niche of the fountain is occupied by a modern statue of St John the Baptist by scuptor Joao Cutileiro. The square also has a modern cubic sculpture by Jose Rodrigues (nicknamed the Cubo da Ribeira) over the remains of a 17th century fountain.