Olhão Municipality

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Coordinates: 37°3′43.37″N 7°48′25.18″W / 37.0620472°N 7.8069944°W / 37.0620472; -7.8069944
Olhão
Olhão da Restauração
Municipality (Concelho)
Olhao Marina.jpg
The marina of Olhão, where pleasure boats mix with commercial fishing craft
Flag
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho de Olhão
Name origin: Al-Hain/Alham/Olham
Country  Portugal
Region Algarve
Subregion Algarve
District Faro
Municipality Olhão
Civil Parishes Fuseta, Moncarapacho, Olhão, Pechão, Quelfes
Center Quelfes
 - elevation 43 m (141 ft)
 - coordinates 37°3′43.37″N 7°48′25.18″W / 37.0620472°N 7.8069944°W / 37.0620472; -7.8069944
Highest point Monte de São Miguel
 - elevation 403 m (1,322 ft)
 - coordinates 37°6′4.91″N 7°49′52.35″W / 37.1013639°N 7.8312083°W / 37.1013639; -7.8312083
Lowest point Sea level
 - location Atlantic Ocean, Olhão
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Length 17.00 km (11 mi), Southwest-Northeast
Width 12.86 km (8 mi), North-South
Area 130.9 km2 (51 sq mi)
Population 42,272 (2011)
LAU Concelho/Câmara Municipal
 - location Largo Sebastião Martins Mestre, Olhão, Olhão
 - elevation 2 m (7 ft)
 - coordinates 37°1′30.29″N 7°50′30.31″W / 37.0250806°N 7.8417528°W / 37.0250806; -7.8417528
President Francisco José Leal (PS)
Municipal Chair Filpe M. S. Afonso Ramires (PS)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
ISO 3166-2 code PT-
Postal Zone 8700-349 Olhão
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 289 XX XX XX
Demonym Olhanese
Municipal Address Largo Sebastião Martins Mestre
8700-349 Olhão
Municipal Holidays 16 June
Location of the municipality of Olhão in continental Portugal
Wikimedia Commons: Olhão
Statistics: Instituto Nacional de Estatística[1]
Website: http://www.cm-olhao.pt
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[2] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)

Olhão (Portuguese pronunciation: [oˈʎɐ̃w]), or Olhão da Restauração, is a municipality and urban community in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. Located near the regional capital (Faro), the region is a fishing port, home of the Bela brand sardines and Conserveira do Sul's Manná range of processed fish products. Along with Faro, Loulé, and Tavira, Olhão forms an urban conurbation with the city of Faro, from the eastern and central Algarve.

History[edit]

An azulejo depicting the famous trip to Brazil of representatives of the revolt against the French occupation
The Chapel of Senhor dos Aflitos at the rear of the Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário in the parish of Olhão

Since pre-history, Olhão has had vestiges of human occupation, although the oldest written record dates only from 1378, referring to a place called Olham.[3] The estuary and abundance of water were decisive factors that influenced fishermen, at the beginning of the 17th century, to congregate along the beach of Olhão.[3] The settlement developed even as officials in Faro discouraged concentration along this coast.[3] Yet, the growth of activity here was impulsed by the protection, after the middle of the 17th century, offered by the Fortress of São Lourenço, which guarded the coast and entrance to the estuary, discouraging attacks from corsairs.[3]

The incremental growth of the fishery along the coast and sea, and commercial enterprises associated their growth, provoked a leap in population.[3] As a result, in 1695, the residents requested from the Bishop of Faro, that Olhão should be deannexed from the parish of Quelfes: resulting in the formation of the parish of Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Olhão.[3]

During the French occupation of the Algarve, during the Peninsular Wars, Olhão was notable for one of the few public uprisings against the occupiers, occurring on 16 June 1808.[3] This revolt culimnated in the expulsion of the French from Olhão and, as a result, from the rest of the Algarve.[3] It was during this period, that a month later, a small group of 17 men embarked on a caique (a small sailing vessel) named Bom Sucesso, in the hope of promoting the Algarvean success to the Portuguese Court.[3] The crew brought an ex-official statement describing the audacious attitude of the Olhanese revolt.[3] A replica of the boat is moored at Olhão's waterfront.

In recompense, a regal charter (with the force of law) was signed by the Prince Regent John to distinguish Olhão, and its inhabitants, transforming the location from a locality to town, and ordering that it be referred to as Vila de Olhão da Restauração.[3] The transformation, resulted in the creation of a new municipality, with local autonomy, beginning in 1826.[3] In this year, the municipal council hall was erected and a juiz de fora was instituted to preside over the councilmen.[3]

In 1835, the parish of Moncarapacho began to function as a suburb of Olhão, and in the following year, the municipal council took control of the parishes of Olhão, Quelfes, Pechão and part of Moncarapacho.[3]

A judicial division of Portugal in 1874, resulted in the definitive demarcation of the municipality of Olhão, constituted by the five parishes of Olhão, Moncarapacho, Quelfes, Pechão and Fuseta.[3]

Over time the small town of fishermen grew into an economic, social and urban centre, resulting in its elevation in city in 1985.[3]

Geography[edit]

An aerial view of the western frontier of Olhão and urban area
A glimpse of the coastal community of Olhão, overshadowed by Monte de São Miguel

Physical geography[edit]

The municipality is confronted on the east and north by the municipality of Tavira, to the west by the municipality of Faro and in the south by the Atlantic Ocean.[4] It is located within the morphological sub-regions of the Barrocal and coast. In the Barrocal, the municipality is limited in the north by the old massif and south with the sand-stones of the Mesozoic.[4] These lines, follow an ancient beach and coast, justifying the existence of the sedimentary deposits (sand-stones) over the ancient massif. The coast, constituted by a sub-zone of more recent materials, Quaternary or Neogenic in age.[4] These deposits came to rest over sand-stones and marls that comprise the coastal Mesocenozoic, a young relief, that is little accented, aided by a platform that includes superficial lavas.[4]

Ecoregions/Protected areas[edit]

All of the coastal littoral of the municipality belongs to the Nature Park of Ria Formosa, one of the more important humid zones in Europe, considered in 2004, by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a humid zone of world interest.[4]

The Nature Park of Ria Formosa was instituted in 1987, by Decree Law 373/87 (9 September), with the objective of protecting and conserving this river system, and in particular the flora and fauna, including species of migratory bird and their habitats.[4] The Nature Park extends into the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, covering an area of 18400 hectares, for 60 kilometres (37 mi) along the coast, from Ancão until Manta Rota, covering a great variety of habitats: barrier islands, marshes, banks of mud and sand, dunes, salt marshes, freshwater ponds and brackish waterways, forests and agricultural areas.[4]

In the municipality of Olhão, the island of Armona is included in the barrier islands of the Ria Formosa: this includes the beaches of Fuseta Mar and Armona Mar.[4]

Climate[edit]

The Algarve is an area that presents a climate typically Mediterranean, characterized by warm and dry seasons during five months of the year, with median daily temperatures around 22.5ºC and gentle winters, with scarce precipitation and daily median temperatures around 12.4ºC.[4]

In a general way, the municipality presents a temperate humid Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild winters.[4] The precipitation is distributed in an irregular fashion throughout the year, while concentrating in the months between autumn and spring.[4] The climate is not homogeneously distributed throughout the region; the maritime influence gives way from the littoral area to the interior, turning the climate warmer and dryer, and simultaneously more rainy.[4]

Human geography[edit]

Population of
Olhão
(1849 - 2011)
Year Pop.   ±%  
1849 11,934 —    
1900 24,276 +103.4%
1930 27,664 +14.0%
1960 30,871 +11.6%
1981 34,573 +12.0%
1991 36,812 +6.5%
2001 40,808 +10.9%
2011 45,396 +11.2%
A street in the civil parish of Moncarapacho
The marketplace in the centre of the municipality

The municipality of Olhão has an area of approximately 130.9 square kilometres (50.5 sq mi), with a resident population that includes 42,272 inhabitants (approximately 31,100 within the city of Olhão). Olhão is divided into an interior territory and the island of Armona.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ INE, ed. (2010), Censos 2011 - Resultadas Preliminares [2011 Census - Preliminary Results] (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Nacional de Estatística, retrieved 1 January 2012 
  2. ^ IGP, ed. (2010), Carta Administrativa Oficial de Portugal (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Geográfico Português, retrieved 1 January 2012 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Câmara Municipal, ed. (2012), História (in Portuguese), Olhão, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de Olhão, retrieved 17 January 2012 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Câmara Municipal, ed. (2012), Geografia (in Portuguese), Olhão, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de Olhão, retrieved 17 January 2012 

External links[edit]