Amarante Municipality, Portugal
Amarante on the bank of the Rio Tâmega.
Location in Portugal
|• Mayor||Armindo Abreu (PS)|
|• Total||301.5 km2 (116.4 sq mi)|
|• Density||202/km2 (520/sq mi)|
|Municipal holiday||July 8|
Amarante (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐmɐˈɾɐ̃t(ɨ)]) is a municipality in Porto District, in northern Portugal. It has a population of 61,029 and a total area of 301.5 km². It contains the city of Amarante.
The municipality is composed of 40 parishes. It is home to the S. Gonçalo's Monastery and by its centenary bridge.
Amarante originated from the prehistoric tribes who inhabited the Serra da Aboboreira as early as the Stone Age. However, it increased of importance only after the arrival of Saint Gonçalo of Amarante, in the 12th century. The construction of the stone bridge across the Tâmega river is credited to him.
After his death, Amarante became the destination of pilgrimages and grew substantially. In the 16th century, King John III of Portugal had the church of St. Mary turned into a large Dominican monastery near the bridge of St. Gonçalo. The bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1763 and was rebuilt.
During the Napoleonic invasion of Portugal, the bridge of Amarante was the seat of an episode of Portuguese resistance against the French troops led by general Henri-François Delaborde. The city was set to fire by the French, and was later rebuilt.
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