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Matosinhos restores the largest steam-powered crane in the world

Matosinhos restores the largest steam-powered crane in the world

In an age of environmental hyper-awareness, this piece of industrial heritage surely stands out

At the end of last week, the municipal website of Matosinhos announced that a 19-century industrial crane has been restored and is ready to receive curious visitors. The machinery, known as Titan, is unique as it is perhaps the only surviving example of a steam-powered crane and the largest such remaining in the world. Those who are interested in the finer details of Victorian Age engineering can head to the Port of Leixões, in the Portuguese city, and discover it with free-guided tours until the end of the month.

Titan is an indelible part of the port’s history

In 2012, and already in a high state of degradation, this colossal iron crane suffered an accident and toppled over. The Administration of the Ports of Douro, Leixões and Viana do Castelo (APDL) kept the largest number of components, which has allowed the structure to be recovered, in a restoration project worth 2 million euros.

Titan, located on the south side of the port, still has many of its original parts, especially the mechanical components. Tourists can now visit it and admire its details and dimensions: almost 69 meters of length and 17 meters of height.

The inauguration of this emblematic landmark featured a guided tour for the media carried out by historian Joel Cleto, who showed and contextualized the various compartments. The same visit will be possible from now on for tourists. They can see the charcoal storage room, the steam engine room, the machinist's cabin and the boom that allowed concrete blocks to be lifted and placed tens of meters away.

The entire route and points of interest have several information boards, which also feature QR codes that give access to more informative texts, older and recent images or other interactive material.

Titan's boom can be visited along its entire length and at the far end, it is possible to admire the view that encompasses the cities of Porto and Matosinhos, the beaches, the Atlantic Ocean or the Port of Leixões, where one can watch the loading and unloading goods, but also the embarking of passengers at the terminal.

Each guided tour will be made with a maximum of 15 people and will cost 5 euro from the end of this month. Until then, admission is free and there are visits on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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