The film "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald", a spin-off written by JK Rowling about the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander, comes out this month.
Unlike the Harry Potter saga, which takes place in the UK, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is set in the US. But we're pretty sure you didn't know that part of the inspiration for this magical universe was found in a very special city: Oporto. The author lived there in the early 1990s and part of the city's history, architecture and traditions inspired the stories of the young wizard.
- Slytherin was the name of a dictator
JK Rowling recently confessed that the character of Salazar Slytherin, co-founder of Hogwarts, was based on Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Slytherin wanted the school to only accept "pure blood" students, so maybe that's why the author chose the name Salazar – the name of a dictator who was obsessed with preserving the race and who isolated Portugal for 40 years.
- A magical bookshop
JK Rowling used to visit Lello & Irmão Bookshop, which opened in 1906 and is situated in the historic quarter, because she used to give English classes nearby. The majestic staircase, the multi-coloured stained glass windows and the plaster shelves that imitate carved wood definitely remind us of some of the rooms in Hogwarts.
- University wizards
The robes that all the pupils at Hogwarts wear were inspired by the traditional Portuguese university uniform. It is part of the "praxe", a series of practices that aim to introduce new students to life at university. You will often see students walking round Oporto wearing black robes at the beginning of the academic year.
These are just some of the locations and traditions that inspired the author, but there are many more. Come to Oporto and discover them all!