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Coordinates: 40°31′N 8°5′W / 40.517°N 8.083°W / 40.517; -8.083
Municipality (Concelho)
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho de Tondela
Country  Portugal
Region Centro
Subregion Dão-Lafões
District Viseu
Coordinates 40°31′N 8°5′W / 40.517°N 8.083°W / 40.517; -8.083
Area 371.2 km2 (143 sq mi)
Population 31,026 (2001)
LAU Câmara Municipal
 - location Largo da República
President Carlos Manuel Marta Gonçalves (PPD-PSD)
Municipal Chair Joaquim Alberto Vieira Coimbra (PPD-PSD)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone 3464-001
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 232 XX XX XX
Demonym Tondelense
Patron Saint Nossa Senhora do Carmo
Municipal Holidays 16 September
Location of the municipality of Tondela in continental Portugal
Statistics: Instituto Nacional de Estatística[1]
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[2] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)

Tondela (Portuguese pronunciation: [tõˈdɛlɐ]) is a municipality in the central Portuguese subregion of Dão-Lafões. Following the 2001 census, this area had a resident population of just over 31,026 inhabitants, occupying a territory of approximately 371.2 square kilometres (143.3 sq mi).


The mound of Anta da Arquinha da Moura: vestiges of prehistoric cultures
The ancient espigueiro used by hill peoples to dry corn and store corn

Amadeu Ferraz de Carvalho (1876-1851) wrote of the municipality of Tondela in the following terms: "The municipality of Tondela extends over the plateau, covers part of the eastern slope of Caramulo and surpassing the saw still slopes through the highlands of São João do Monte, over the gentle flanks of the upper Águeda basin. In this way, the natural sections of your area are: part of the plateau, cut by the Dão and its effluents the Pavia and Dinha; the depressed lands between the plateau and the Serra do Caramulo, drained by the Criz and its effluents; a part of the eastern flanks of the Caramulanian mountains and elevated east around the Águeda basin; and I add, an extreme basin, with Quaternary deposits, that indicate small extinct lakes, along the Serra do Caramulo; and the Vale de Besteiros." In this context, the region of Tondela appears as one of the principal locations of archaeological remnants, and concentrations of prehistoric populations.

The traditional origin of Tondela arises from the fountain Chafariz das Sereias, a sculpted spring of stone, with a woman holding a trumpet. Legend suggests that this female figure was representative an another woman who monitored the movements of Moorish forces across the mountains from here lookout. When she discovered an impeding attack from her vantage point the woman would sound the horn, and "at the sound of this instrument" (literally, tone of it), the settlers would arise to meet the enemy. The phrase "ao'tom'dela", which means "the sound of it", was transformed into the name "Tondela".

Documents from the 9th, 10th and 12th century designated this region as the Terra de Balistariis. This designation arises from the word balista or besta, a war machine used by besteiros during the Middle Ages.

The current municipality was actually the seat, until 1836, of the historical municipality of Besteiros, whose name continues to be seen in some of the historical documents, references and coat-of-arms of Tondela. To this former administrative division were annexed, through successive administrative reforms, including the older entitites of Serra do Caramulo, São João do Monte and Guardão. Also, the lowlands, such as Mouraz, Sabugosa, Canas de Santa Maria, São Miguel de Outeiro and a few parishes that were part of Viseu or the smaller municipalities of Barreiro and Treixedo were extended into Tondela.


A view of Campo de Besteiros, located in the northwest-central mountains of Serra do Caramulo

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 19 civil parishes (freguesias):[3]

  • Barreiro de Besteiros e Tourigo
  • Campo de Besteiros
  • Canas de Santa Maria
  • Caparrosa e Silvares
  • Castelões
  • Dardavaz
  • Ferreirós do Dão
  • Guardão
  • Lajeosa do Dão
  • Lobão da Beira
  • Molelos
  • Mouraz e Vila Nova da Rainha
  • Parada de Gonta
  • Santiago de Besteiros
  • São João do Monte e Mosteirinho
  • São Miguel do Outeiro e Sabugosa
  • Tonda
  • Tondela e Nandufe
  • Vilar de Besteiros e Mosteiro de Fráguas


The Clube Desportivo de Tondela is the principal athletic club in the municipality, and its football team earned its first ascension to the Liga de Honra during the 2011-2012 season.

Twin towns[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. ^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, pages 552 120-121" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 3 August 2014. 

External links[edit]