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For the village in Greece, see Loures, Heraklion.
Coordinates: 38°50′39″N 9°11′44″W / 38.84417°N 9.19556°W / 38.84417; -9.19556
Civil Parish (Freguesia)
Coat of arms
Official name: Freguesia de Loures
Country  Portugal
Region Lisboa
Subregion Greater Lisbon
District Lisbon
Municipality Loures
Localities A-dos-Calvos, A-dos-Cãos, Barro, Bolores, Botica, Fanqueiro, Fonte Santa, Guerreiros, Infantado, Lagariça, Loures, Mealhada, Migarrinhos, Moninhos, Montemor, Murteira, Pai Joanes, Palhais, Pinheiro de Loures, Ponte de Lousa, Quinta Nova de São Roque, São Sebastião de Guerreiros, Sete Casas, Tojalinho, Torre Trotes
Center Botica
 - elevation 31 m (102 ft)
 - coordinates 38°50′39″N 9°11′44″W / 38.84417°N 9.19556°W / 38.84417; -9.19556
Length 7.32 km (5 mi), North-South
Width 8.89 km (6 mi), Southwest-Northeast
Area 33 km2 (13 sq mi)
Population 66,231 (2001)
Density 2,007 / km2 (5,198 / sq mi)
Settlement 1st century
 - Parish c. 1118
LAU Junta Freguesia
 - location Rua Manuel Francisco Soromenho
 - coordinates 38°49′44″N 9°10′7″W / 38.82889°N 9.16861°W / 38.82889; -9.16861
President Junta João Luis Costa Nunes (PS)
President Assembleia João Manuel Lopes Simões (PS)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone 2670-452
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 219 XXX XXX
Demonym Lourense
Patron Saint Nossa Senhora da Saúde
Location of the civil parish of Loures in the municipality of Loures
Wikimedia Commons: Loures
Statistics: Instituto Nacional de Estatística[1]
Website: http://www.jf-loures.pt/
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[2] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)

Loures is a civil parish in the central Portuguese Greater Lisbon municipality of Loures; it is an urban agglomeration comprising the city of Loures with a resident population of 66,231.


The historical Church of Loures, in the centre of urban centre of the town of Loures

Loures was a Roman settlement back at the beginning of the 1st millennium, based in a cemetery that eventually became the site of the first church.[3] It was also a region notable for the presence of many castros, before the Roman occupation; the Romans influenced many of these settlers to abandon the foothills and begin occupying the fertile lowlands for economic reasons.[3] After the Romans, the Visigoths began occupying the territory, followed by the Moors (after the 8th century).[3]

The parish of Loures was first mentioned in 1118, and again in 1191, along with the parishes of Unhose and Sacavém.[3] At the time the region was mainly agricultural, and involved in small export trade, that included the cultivation of lettuce (a vegetable that continues to be cultivated). The first written document appeared in 1170, written by Afonso Henriques, who provided privileges and benefits to the Moors that lived on the outskirts of Lisbon in the sallayos (the fields to the north of Lisbon, at the time). In 1178, King Sancho I of Portugal having discovered that the Moors of Lisbon were allied to groups in Loures, and came to the territory with a Templar force to confront those peoples.[3] Following the defeat of the Moors, the King transferred the region to the Knights Templar, who established the sect of warrior-monks. The extinction of Templars in 1311, opened the way for the expropriation of lands and property by the Pope.[3] King Denis of Portugal, on the other hand, proposed the creation in Portugal of a new Order to replace the Templars that would be the receipent of these assets: the Order of Christ.[3] In Loures, the Templar lands passed into the hands of this religious order, eventually constructing a new Church over the ruins of the 4th-century temple, located alongside the Christian cemetery that existed there.[3]

In addition to the main settlement, the village of Montemor, situated at a height of 350 metres, was sought by residents from Lisbon during the Plague.[3] The Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Saúde was built during this era: in 1598, the Plague devastated the capital, and for five years on it spread across the country (resulting in the death of approximately 80,000 victims).[3] Fleeing the contagion, many of urban residents escaped into the country to the elevated villages, which they assumed protected them from the disease.[3] Some families brought with them the image of Our Lady of Health, and raised a church, in order to defend themselves of the Plague: by 1604 the threat had passed, and no cases of the disease were discovered within the territory.[3] A myth developed for successive generations of the miraculous influence of the patron, providing protection from heath-related disease.[3]

By the 19th century, between 1832 and 1834, cholera spread throughout the region, and the people of Loures, once again, implored Our Lady of Health to protect them from epidemic.[3] Owing to their fears, the image of the saint was removed from Montemor, and paraded through Loures in procession.[3] It remained in the altar of the Church of Loures until the threat had passed, when it was finally returned to its hermitage in Montemor.

From this administrative entity, the territories of the civil parish of Póvoa de Santo Adrião (known as Póvoa de Loures), during the middle of the 17th century, and Caneças in 1915 were cleaved from the territory.

In 1989 the civil parish of Santo António dos Cavaleiros was de-annexed from Loures.

International Relations[edit]

Loures is twinned with:


Population of
(1849 - 2004)
Year Pop.   ±%  
1862 3,574 —    
1864 4,515 +26.3%
1890 4,791 +6.1%
1900 4,789 −0.0%
1911 5,156 +7.7%
1920 4,355 −15.5%
1930 4,698 +7.9%
1991 19,252 +309.8%
2001 24,237 +25.9%

The civil parish of Loures, located in the extreme western part of the municipality, is bordered by the neighbouring civil parishes of Fanhões, Frielas, Lousa, Santo Antão do Tojal, Santo António dos Cavaleiros and the municipalities of Mafra, Odivelas (specifically the parishes of Caneças and Ramada) and Sintra (Almargem do Bispo).

It includes several agglomerations and localities dispersed beyond the main settlement; these include: A-dos-Calvos, A-dos-Cãos, Barro, Bolores, Botica, Fanqueiro, Fonte Santa, Guerreiros, Infantado, Lagariça, Loures, Mealhada, Migarrinhos, Moninhos, Montemor, Murteira, Pai Joanes, Palhais, Pinheiro de Loures, Ponte de Lousa (which is shared with the neighbouring parish of Lousa), Quinta Nova de São Roque, São Sebastião de Guerreiros, Sete Casas, Tojalinho and Torre Trotes.

Loures was elevated to the status of "town" on 26 October 1926, under decree 12/543, and later city on 9 August 1990, under decree 35/90. The city of Loures corresponds to only the urbanized area of the settlements of Loures, Mealhada, Infantado and Sete Casas, which represents 60% of the parish's resident population (approximately 16,000 inhabitants).


  1. ^ INE, ed. (2010), Censos 2011 - Resultadas Preliminares [2011 Census - Preliminary Results] (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Nacional de Estatística, retrieved 1 July 2011 
  2. ^ IGP, ed. (2010), Carta Administrativa Oficial de Portugal (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Geográfico Português, retrieved 1 July 2011 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Caracterização" (in Portuguese). Loures (Loures), Portugal. 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.