Praça da Batalha and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso around 1929

Praça da Batalha

Praça da Batalha

Busy tram traffic in front of the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso. The rule of the way is right, which places the photo after 1 june 1928. Tram 249 working on line 14 is on the way to Devezas. I’s followed by tram 239 working on line 17, which has almost reached its terminus. Tram 249 is of the Brill-23 type and has a second trolley-pole for crossing the Ponte Luís I. Tram 239 is of the Brill-28 type, in this case made by widening a Brill tram of the 1909 order. Number and exact type of the third tram cannot be determined, but it looks like a Brill-23 of the 1910 or maybe 1912 order.

Teatro Nacional São João around 1925

Teatro Nacional São João

Teatro Nacional São João

An UEC build tram is standing on the terminus track of line 17, It has the number 133, which means the photo was not taken before 1924. As it has no fenders the photo was not taken after 1926. The tram has still the original platforms but already the resistances on the platform roofs. Likely this was one of trams which got new Siemens D58 motors around 1923.
Partly hidden behind a tree is a 6-window tram build by A Constructora.

Teatro Nacional São João around 1923

Teatro Nacional São João

Teatro Nacional São João

The original building inaugurated in 1798 was destroyed by fire in 1908. This is the new building on the same location inaugurated in 1920. The postcard was used in 1931. Next to the theatre is a tram coming from VN de Gaia. It is a former mule tram electrified around the turn of the century.

Praça da Batalha around 1913

Praça da Batalha

Praça da Batalha

At the right is an electric tram of likely the 8-window former mule tramcar type. It has a second trolley-pole and the line number 13 can be seen, which means it’s on the way to VN de Gaia. The presence of the line number proves that the photo is taken after 1 january 1912. As the postcard is dated 21 january 1915, the photo must be taken some time before that date.

Praça da Batalha around 1902

Praça da Batalha

Praça da Batalha with tramcar 34

The tramcars 33 and 34 were build late 1901 or early 1902 by the local firm A Constructora and received trucks and electric equipments of Schuckert & co. Their bodies were similar to the in 1901 build 24-25 and the 1903 build 38-39. These bodies were probably copies of a the one of a tram delivered in 1898 by Schuckert & co. However the 24-25 had electric equipments of Siemens & Halske and the 38-39 of Walker. Tramcar 34 was involved in a runaway incident in Rua Santo António (now Rua 31 de Janeiro) in november 1902. This incident caused doubts about their braking capacity and trams with the numbers 33 and 34 were not used anymore. In 1904 two trams of this type appeared with the numbers 55-56. These were likely the former 33-34, but with new electric equipments.

Later the window arrangement of these trams was changed to six windows at each side without changing the dimensions of the body. They also got closed platforms. Likely at least one was perished in the Boavista fire of 1928. Two trams of this type were still used by the STCP, mainly on minor lines. They had the numbers 102-103.

Praça da Batalha and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso around 1905

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso and tramcar 24

Praça da Batalha with an electric tram converted from a mule tram. The mule tram likely originated from the Companhia Carril Americano do Porto á Foz e Matosinhos. The tramcar was likely converted in 1902 or 1903 and later renumbered from 35 to 24.

Praça da Batalha and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso around 1904

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso and tramcar 37

This postcard shows an electric tram converted from an old mule tram. The mule tram was likely build for the Companhia de Carris Américano do Porto á Foz e Matosinhos in the early 1870’s. In 1903 it was electrified and got the number 37.

Praça da Batalha and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso around 1903

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso and tramcar 35

The tram-car is an electrified former mule tram. Likely the tram body was build around 1872 for the oldest Porto tram-company, the Companhia Carril Americano do Porto á Foz e Matosinhos. This company was taken over early 1893 by the Companhia de Carris de Ferro do Porto. This tram-car was likely transformed into an electric tram in 1902. I think its number was exchanged with tram-car 24 around 1904. One tram of this type survived into the 1950’s, but due to lost documentations it is unknown if it was this car or another.

Praça da Batalha and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso around 1900

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Praça da Batalha with the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

The Igreja de Santo Ildefonso was always a very popular subject for photos and postcards. Often a tram was in front of the church. This is the oldest postcard from my collection with such a scene.

The photo shows a tram with four mules. The standard traction of these trams was two mules but likely two more were added to tackle the slope from Rua Santa Catarina to Praça da Batalha.

The tram is on the route to Campanhã. This was the main line of the CCFP: Matosinhos (Rua Roberto Ivens) – Castelo do Queijo – Rua de Gondarem – Foz (Cadouços) – Campo das Ervilhas – Fonte de Moura – Avenida da Boavista – Boavista (depot) – Carvalhosa – Rua da Cedofeita, opposite direction Rua do Rosário – Carmo – Praça Dom Pedro (now Praça da Liberdade) – Rua Dom Pedro (does not exist anymore, but was about the east side of where is now Avenida dos Aliados) – Rua Formosa – Bolhão – Rua de Santa Catarina – Praça da Batalha – Rua Entreparedes -Santo Lazaro – Avenida Rodrigues Freitas – Rua Heroismo – Estação de Campanhã.

Between Matosinhos and Boavista the traction was by steam locomotives, from Boavista to Campanhã mules pulled the trams. The detour via Bolhão was without doubt to avoid the steep Rua de Santo António (Rua 31 de Janeiro), which would have required a great number of mules. The line was for large parts single track and likely the tram is waiting here in a passing loop for another tram in the opposite direction.