Didem Doğan

A day in Porto: Casa da Música and The Park and the Museum of Serralves

In Porto, this “house of music” in word-for-word translation, is the biggest concert hall which is now a symbol of the city. It was designed by the famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhas: It looks like an enormous diamond gem dropped out of space... When we visited this building that can also be toured with a tourist guide, we saw the orchestra through the sound-proof glass, but we did not hear anything at all. These auditoriums which have perfect acoustics are the home of the orchestras of the National Porto, the Barroca, and the Remix Ensemble.A little bit outside the old town of Porto in a big park is the Serralves Modern Art Museum. As a matter of fact, it is not only a museum, but also a complex structure which consists of a big park, a villa, and a modern art museum. Villa-makine is the summer house where the Cabral Family lived between the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Modern art pieces are exhibited at the museum. It is possible to discern the influence of the art-deco style in the museum building; the design of which earned its architect, Alvaro Siza, his Pritzker Prize. The best part of your visit may be the long walks you can have if it is a sunny day. The park which covers 18 hectares was built in the Victorian Style of the 19th century and re-designed by architect Jacques Greber for its public opening. The red shovel which makes you happy when you see it in the middle of the park bears the signature of the American sculptor Claes Oldenburg.