Oporto: Rua Nova dos Ingleses

Described as “one of the finest thoroughfares of the city”, Rua Nova dos Ingleses was the favoured location for the offices of many English companies. Part of its importance lay in being close to the waterfront where the river crossing to Vila Nova de Gaia was effected.

Rua Nova dos Ingleses
The English Factory was built at the eastern end of Rua Nova dos Ingleses, on the corner with Rua S. João. The Factory house played a pivotal role in the life of 19th-century merchants when the shipping of Port wine expanded dramatically.

The western end of Rua Nova dos Ingleses led to the financial district of Porto, represented by the Casa do Infante which as well as a Customs House also contained a Royal Mint. This end of the street housed Porto’s banking institutions and It was in this area that the magnificent Palácio de Bolsa (Stock Exchange) was built in the mid 19th century.

In 1883 the name of the street was changed to Rua do Infante D. Henrique and has thus remained ever since.

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Arriving in Oporto to select a port wine for his college, Englishman Horace Grimpil soon finds himself embroiled in the conflicting interests of the British and Portuguese communities, where he is an ignorant outsider.

This Portuguese city - a turbulent place of ambition and defiance fought over by the French and British during the Napoleonic wars - is emerging from political turmoil that left the city and its people with their wealth and society destroyed.

Mr Grimpil, however, is about to experience personal turmoil of his own. Little does he know how the passions aroused during his journey of discovery will affect his own character, or how his presence will bring to a conclusion the relentless pursuit of a political revenge spanning generations.

Read more about the book here

Grimpil's Retrogress © 2010

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