Santa Maria da Feira Municipality

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Coordinates: 40°56′N 8°32′W / 40.933°N 8.533°W / 40.933; -8.533
Santa Maria da Feira
Municipality (Concelho)
Castelo de Sta. Maria da Feira6.jpg
A view of the urban landscape from the Castle of Feira
Flag
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho de Santa Maria da Feira
Country  Portugal
Region Norte
Subregion Entre Douro e Vouga
District Aveiro
Municipality Santa Maria da Feira
Coordinates 40°56′N 8°32′W / 40.933°N 8.533°W / 40.933; -8.533
Area 215.1 km2 (83 sq mi)
Population 140,494 (2008)
LAU Concelho/Câmara Municipal
President Alfredo de Oliveira Henriques (PSD)
Municipal chair José Manuel Moreira Cardoso da Costa (PSD)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
ISO 3166-2 code PT-
Area code & prefix (+351) XXX XX XX XX
Municipal holidays 20 January
Location of the municipality of Santa Maria da Feira in continental Portugal
Wikimedia Commons: Santa Maria da Feira
Statistics: Instituto Nacional de Estatística[1]
Website: http://www.cm-feira.pt
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[2] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)

Santa Maria da Feira (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɐ̃tɐ mɐˈɾi.ɐ ðɐ ˈfejɾɐ] ( )) is a city and a municipality in Portugal with a total area of 215.1 square kilometres (83.1 sq mi) and a total population of 147,406 inhabitants (2008 census).

History[edit]

Castle at Santa Maria da Feira

Santa Maria is located in area that allowed it to be a crossroads of various peoples. Ancient Roman roadways connected Porto, Viseu, Lisbon and Braga and intersected the region, and was used until the 19th century. In addition, pre-Roman castros dotted the territory.

Eventually, nomadic tribes began to settle in the vicinity of the castle and began to sell various products (salt, implements, tools and agricultural products). This settlement soon became known as the Terra de Santa Maria. This name first appeared in 1117, in a donation by D. Teresa, who began to reside in the castle around 1120 (many of the documents associated with the name started appearing from this time, including various funeral documents already existed in the 4th and 5th century. The lands of Santa Maria included a vast territory that included not only the municipality of Feira, but also Ovar, Vila Nova de Gaia, Vale de Cambra and São João da Madeira, among others.

The castle of Santa Maria da Feira, the ex-libris of Feira, is a testament to the military architecture of the Middle Ages. It is the fulcrum of the history of the region, and an important point in the Reconquista.

In the time of king Denis of Portugal, Feira already was the see of a julgado (old administrative division). This is testified by an ancient document called Foral Velho. It was awarded a new foral in 1514, when Manuel I of Portugal was the King of Portugal.

Geography[edit]

Population of
the municipality of Santa Maria da Feira
(1801 - 2008)
Year Pop.   ±%  
1801 27,851 —    
1849 37,823 +35.8%
1900 44,596 +17.9%
1930 52,679 +18.1%
1960 83,483 +58.5%
1981 109,531 +31.2%
1991 118,641 +8.3%
2001 135,964 +14.6%
2004 143,295 +5.4%
2006 145,247 +1.4%
2008 147,406 +1.5%

The municipality is composed of 31 parishes, and is located in Aveiro District. The municipality includes several towns (vilas) and 3 cities (cidades): Santa Maria da Feira, Fiães and Lourosa. It is the most populous municipio in Entre Douro e Vouga and it is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto.

The municipality includes 3 cities: Santa Maria da Feira, Fiães and Lourosa, as well as several towns.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Santa Maria da Feira Municipality is twinned with:

Economy[edit]

Santa Maria da Feira is a heavily industrialized municipality and is famous for its several cork transforming and shoe factories. The town is the headquarters of Amorim corporation. The seat of the municipality is Feira, famous for its medieval castle which was the residence of Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, for a short period of time. The castle, located at the top of a hill, was of considerable strategic importance during its time.

Every year, in summer, a medieval festival takes place in Santa Maria da Feira - the Feira Medieval - during which the city goes back to the Middle Ages.

Architecture[edit]

Municipality's sights include the Convento do Espírito Santo (convent), the Igreja da Misericórdia (church; 18th century), and the Rua Direita (street; 18th and 19th centuries' architecture). However, its greatest landmark is the castelo Santa Maria da Feira Castle, from the 11th century.

Culture[edit]

Medieval festival parade
Fogaça - typical sweet bread

The municipal holiday is January 20. It's the day when the whole municipality celebrates the Fogaceiras. The Fogaceiras is a special local holiday. During the Middle Ages, the lands of Santa Maria (as it was known back then) were infested by the dark plague. To get rid of this calamity, the locals offered a sweet roll, called fogaça, to the patron saint Saint Sebastien. The Fogaceiras have been celebrated for five hundred years, since the eradication of the dark plague.

The municipality has a science museum, the Visionarium.

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. ^ "International Contacts". Targovishte Municipality. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 

External links[edit]