When it comes to green spaces in Porto, the site which tops the list is the Crystal Palace Gardens which derives its name from a former structure made of glass and iron, the Crystal Palace, which was brought down in 1956 and replaced with a domed pavilion, the so-called Pavilhao Rosa Mota (often referred to as Pavilhao dos Desportos, meaning the Sports Pavilion). The pavilion now serves the purpose of entertainment, cultural and sports-related activities. This vast stadium has an imposing domed structure towering roughly 30 metres / 98 feet in height and capable of accommodating more than 4,500 spectators. Apart from an array of sporting attractions each year, the pavilion also hosts concerts, theatrical events, conventions and various exhibitions. The visitors can access this site daily for free.
The park is a treat to the eyes with its breath taking views of the Duoro river. It abounds in exotic and diverse plant and animal species. It also features elegant fountains and allegorical statues. By following the meandering alleys of the park, the tourists can come across themed gardens, such as Jardim dos Sentimentos (Garden of Feelings), Jardim das Plantas Aromaticas (Garden of Aromatic Plants) and Jardim do Roseiral (Garden of Roses). All these splendid sights are the work of Emilio David, the landscape gardener who designed the park.