The Casa do Infante served as a royal mint and customs house in the 14th century. ‘Infante’ means ‘prince’ in Portuguese and the prince in question is one of Porto’s most famous sons, Henry the Navigator. Tradition says he was born here in 1394.
The building has gone through periods of use and neglect. It has been completely remodelled now and is open to the public for a small admission fee. The Casa do Infante functions as an archive, housing a rather scant history museum and a collection of exceptional mosaics. While being renovated, Roman foundations were uncovered, giving some perspective on the location’s long history. The ‘House of Prince Henry’ is on Rua Alfândega, just west of Praça da Ribeira.