Customs House Building
Interpretative VisitInterpretative Visit to the New Customs House Building of Oporto: the Customs House Building is a rich, extensive “territory”, marked physically and symbolically by elements that illustrate its history as a customs area, its daily routines, influenced not only by the different “moods of the River Douro”, but also by the successive transformations of Portugal’s commercial relations with the world, its professions and its relationships with the nearby community – Miragaia.
The Building is looked at and interpreted through several prisms, taking into account the age levels and interests of the public. While for the youngest and most intrepid adventurers, the building’s secrets are revealed during “Captain North’s Treasure Hunt”, connections are established for youngsters between the city’s history, geography and some of its most famous legends: “the Tripe-eaters” and “Princess Gaia”.
For the not-so-young and specialists, there are several approaches ranging from industrial revolution architecture and the renovation of historic buildings, to the engineering of metal structures, mechanical engineering illustrated in the various cranes located along the quay, and the history of rail transportation illustrated by the structures of the former Customs House Branch-line (1888-1989) (restored in 2011 – co-financing QREN – ON2).
Also the Treasury: a space formally occupied by the Customs House Treasury, it underwent a project to renovate and integrate it into the interpretative tour of the Building (and also functions as the Museum shop).
Through its mid-20th century public department furniture and the integrated museum collection – clocks, customs service identification plaques, safes, typewriters – it illustrates the characteristic environment of the place where Customs Clearance was settled through payment of the respective charges (opened to the public in 2009).