Balazar (Póvoa de Varzim)

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Balazar
Parish
FregPVZBalasar.png
Country Portugal
Municipality Póvoa de Varzim
Area
 • Total 11.57 km2 (4.47 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 2,543
 • Density 220/km2 (570/sq mi)

Balazar (or Balasar) is one of the seven parishes of the municipality of Póvoa de Varzim. At the 2011 census it had a population of 2,543 and a total area of 11.57 km².

History[edit]

It was an ecclesiastical parish in Barcelos until 1836, when it became a civil unit and transferred to Póvoa de Varzim. In 1853 it was transferred to Vila Nova de Famalicão, but Póvoa de Varzim town hall request it to be returned, and was transferred back to Póvoa two years later.

The parish became famous in 2004, after the beatification of Alexandrina Maria da Costa by Pope John Paul II, on April 25 of that year. Pilgrimages to the parish's church where Alexandrina's body rests was already common, became more popular and the church is studying if it will make a shrine to Alexandrina, depending of number of pilgrims and if she is declared a saint.

Geography[edit]

Balazar is located 14 km east of downtown Póvoa de Varzim; and borders Rates to the west and the municipalities of Barcelos, Vila Nova de Famalicão, and Vila do Conde.

Hamlets[edit]

The parish is divided into several hamlets (lugares): Agrelos, Além, Bouça Velha, Calvário, Caminho Largo, Casal, Covilhã, Cruz, Escariz, Fontaínhas, Gandra, Gestrins, Gresufes, Guardinhos, Lousadelo, Matinho, Monte Tapado, Outeiro, Quinta, Telo, Terra Ruim, Vela, and Vila Pouca.

Coordinates: 41°24′29″N 8°37′34″W / 41.408°N 8.626°W / 41.408; -8.626