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Location in Portugal
|Subregion||Alto Alentejo Subregion|
|• Mayor||Adelaide Teixeira (Independent)|
|• Total||447.1 km2 (172.6 sq mi)|
|• Density||55/km2 (140/sq mi)|
Portalegre (Portuguese pronunciation: [puɾtɐˈlɛɣɾ(ɨ)]) is a municipality in Portugal with a total area of 447.1 km² and a total population of 24,756 inhabitants. The municipality is located by the Serra de São Mamede in the Portalegre District.
The current Mayor is Adelaide Teixeira, elected as an independent.
The municipal holiday is 23 May.
In 2001 census the city of Portalegre had 15,768 inhabitants in its 2 parishes (Sé and São Lourenço). These 2 parishes plus the 8 rural parishes had a total of 25,608 inhabitants.
Portalegre was elevated to the status of city on 23 May 1550, by John III. At this time, the city was regarded as an important administrative and economic centre. In the 15th century, it was already recognized for its cloth manufacturing.
As it is near the frontier with Spain it always suffered lots of invasions from foreign troops: in 1704 (during the War of the Spanish Succession), it was attacked and conquered by the army of Felipe V; again in 1801 during the War of the Oranges, it surrendered to the Spanish Army, this way trying to counter the French dominion. In 1847 it was occupied by forces of Spanish General Concha.
The house-museum of José Régio, a famous Portuguese poet, was installed in his home, in which he lived for 34 years. When Régio was accepted at the high school of Mouzinho da Silveira, in Portalegre, this place was a hostel. It was previously an annex of the convent of S. Brás, of which there are still some vestiges, namely the chapel. It also served as a headquarters when the peninsular wars were fought, but it was later named Pensão 21.
José Régio rented a humble room and, as he needed more space (he collected several works of art, amongst which more than 400 representations of Christ), he would rent more space. So, as time went by, he finally became the only inhabitant of the hostel. In 1965, he sold his collection to the municipality of Portalegre with the condition of it buying his house, restore it and transform it into a museum. He lived there until he died, in 1969. The museum opened to public in 1971.
The municipality is composed of 7 parishes:
- Ribeira de Nisa e Carreiras
- Reguengo e São Julião
- Sé e São Lourenço