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Introduction: Oporto
 

^ Dom Luís Bridge.

Porto is the powerhouse of the Portuguese north, panoramically set at the mouth of the river Douro, its famous port wine lodges and hilly, atmospheric old quarter linked by vast, spectacular bridges. 

On the south bank the bright lights of the famous port wine brands. On the north bank, the narrow alleyways of the old quarter, dominated by the large cathedral (Sé), and a steep, steep rise to the modern-day centre of town.

Slightly north stands the landmark Torre dos Clérigos, which offers superb views over the whole city 

 and Douro estuary spreading out towards the Atlantic.

The main centre for bars and restaurants is clustered towards the waterfront, amid these alleyways leading down to the old quays, Cais da Ribeira. Further south, the nearby resorts and windswept beaches of Espinho and Cortegaça beckon. For UEFA EURO 2004, Porto will provide two stadiums - Dragão and Bessa.

 

Stadium: Estádio do Dragão

Capacity 52,000
Entity Futebol Clube do Porto
Architect Manuel Salgado

 

^ The Estádio do Dragão is a high-class venue. - Getty Images

Built in the city near the old Antas Stadium, FC Porto's new ground will host the opening ceremony and the first match in the EURO 2004 tournament. The stadium, with its bold design, has been classified as a five-star ground by UEFA. 

With seating for more than 50,000 spectators, the stadium is part of a sports city and real estate complex occupying an area of 3,000 square metres between Av. Fernão Magalhães, the VCI and Bairro de S. Roque da Lameira. There are plans to build a shopping centre, a residential area and a multipurpose pavilion. 
 

The design of the new Estádio do Dragão is impressive. The transparent roof, which has been called a 'veil', was built from 280 tonnes of steel and is supported by a number of pillars. On its east side, the height of the stadium is equivalent to that of a 14-storey building. 


The tournament director, António Laranjo, stresses the importance of the Estádio do Dragão to the surrounding area: "It is, perhaps, the stadium that causes the greatest impact in the whole surrounding area. Due to the difficulties resulting from its location, major excavations were necessary before the actual construction work could begin." 

If the action on the pitch can rival the effort and enthusiasm of Manuel Salgado's architecture, everyone visiting the Estádio do Dragão next summer will enjoy a memorable experience. 

The new Estádio do Dragão was inaugurated on 16 November 2003 with a friendly match between FC Porto and FC Barcelona. The Portuguese champions beat the Spanish team 2-0, making it a perfect evening for their fans. Before the match, the magician Luís de Matos coordinated a show involving hundreds of people. 

 

Stadium: Estádio do Bessa Século XXI

Capacity 30,000
Entity
Boavista Futebol Clube
Architect
Mário Moura

 

^ The revamped stadium. - Getty Images

Located in an important part of the city of Porto, the Estádio do Bessa Século XXI is part of a developing sports complex. Four new covered stands have been built as part of a renovation that is reminiscent of British football grounds. 

Boavista was the only club that never stopped playing in their stadium throughout the reconstruction process. The work began in June 1998. The East Stand, the first to be rebuilt, was completed on 4 August 1999. 

In January 2000, work began on the main West Stand, which includes the

locker rooms, press stand, and VIP suite. It was inaugurated on 9 November 2001, and then tested in UEFA Champions League matches. 

The North Stand was demolished in April 2002 and the construction work began after the pitch was relocated and lowered. The South Stand was the last to be built. The whole remodelling process took the surrounding area into consideration and is a remarkable feat of integration. 

The Estádio do Bessa Século XXI was officially opened on 30 December 2003 with a match between Boavista and Málaga CF, which ended in a 0-0 draw. The match also marked the end of Boavista's centenary celebrations last year. 

 

 

 

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Lisbon José Alvalde
Luz
Oporto Dragão
Bessa

 

 « Climate »

Average highest temperature in June: 22.7ºC

 

 « Fixtures: Dragão »

A Portugal v Greece
   1800 CET 12 June 2004
D Germany v Netherlands
   1800 CET 15 June 2004
C Italy v Sweden
   2045 CET 18 June 2004
4 Quarter-Final
   2045 CET 27 June 2007
2 Semi-Final
   2045 CET 01 July 2004

 

 « Fixtures: Bessa »

A Greece v Spain
   1800 CET 16 June 2004
D Latvia v Germany
   1800 CET 19 June 2004
C Denmark v Sweden
   2045 CET 22 June 2004

 

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