Porto's grandest avenue celebrated its centenary in 2016. Named in honor of Portugal's World War I allies, the Avendia dos Aliados is Porto's living room, the place where locals come for a Sunday stroll, or to celebrate—at New Year, during the Saint John's day parties in mid-June, or when FC Porto secures another soccer success.
The boulevard runs from the dashing horseback statue of King Pedro IV (aka Emperor Pedro I, of Brazil) up hill for 300 meters (330 yards) to the great tower of the mid-20th century City Hall. Along the way it's lined with grand Belle Epoque buildings housing banks, insurance companies, hotels, fancy stores. The little statue of a flat-capped fellow shouting the Portuguese equivalent of "read all about it" is a reminder that in years gone by newspapers once had their offices here. Another cherished statue is Juventude (Youth) made by local sculptor Henrique Moreira in 1929, and known affectionately as "a menina nua" (the naked girl).
Opinion is divided over the city council's decision not to replant the gardens that ran down the center of the thoroughfare and were ripped up during work on the city subway in the early 2000s. Instead, Porto's two Pritzker Prize Winning architects Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura joined forces to design an open space of granite flagstones flanking a rectangular pool taht reflects the surrounding buildings.
Two places worth visiting along the Avenida are the Guarany Café, dating back to 1933 at No. 85/89 (www.cafeguarany.com, tel. 223 321 272, open daily 9am–midnight), and the Art Deco Culturgest art centre (tel. 222 098 116, open Mon–Sat 12:30–6:30pm) on the other side at No. 104.