Pêra Velha

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Pêra Velha
Civil Parish
Coat of arms
Official name: Freguesia de Pêra Velha
Country  Portugal
Region Norte
Subregion Douro
District Viseu
Municipality Moimenta da Beira
Center Pêra Velha
 - elevation 898 m (2,946 ft)
 - coordinates 40°55′57″N 7°39′41″W / 40.93250°N 7.66139°W / 40.93250; -7.66139Coordinates: 40°55′57″N 7°39′41″W / 40.93250°N 7.66139°W / 40.93250; -7.66139
Area 15.73 km2 (6 sq mi)
Population 214 (2011)
Density 14/km2 (36/sq mi)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone 3620-432
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 254 XX XX XX
Wikimedia Commons: Pêra Velha (Moimenta da Beira)
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[1] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)

Pêra Velha is a former civil parish in the municipality (concelho) of Moimenta da Beira, Portugal. In 2013, the parish merged into the new parish Pêra Velha, Aldeia de Nacomba e Ariz.[2] The population in 2011 was 214,[3] in an area of 15.73 km².[4]

History[edit]

Pêra Velha obtained its toponomic name from the monumental rocks that are scattered throughout its territory.[5] Its name, literally old pear, refers to the boulders and rocks that are found in Moimenta da Beira. Its first inhabitants settled in the region during an obscure period of the Neolithic, coming from continental Europe.[5] These were likely Celts, owing to the many prehistoric dolmens and shelters that were used as shelter. The tributaries of the Paiva and Varosa Rivers wind through the plateaus, providing irrigated fertile lands that could be used to support the early clans.[5]

While the Romans came to occupy the valleys and floodplains, the Lusitanians continued to occupy the high-grounds and defended their territory.[5]

Almançor's Moorish forces eventually crossed the same territory after destroying the castle of Moimenta da Beira, around the 9th century.[5]

The Goths from Asturias eventually retook and repopulated the region, which was vaguely populated, reorganizing and forming an administrative territory (municipality) that included the villages of Peva, Ariz and Soutosa.[5] Until 1834 it was a municipality and municipal seat, that included the parishes of Pêra Velha, Ariz and Peva.[5]

By 1801, Pêra Velha had a population of 1136 inhabitants across 41 square kilometres (4,100 ha).[5]

Architecture[edit]

Prehistoric[edit]

Religious[edit]

  • Chapel of Senhora da Livração (Portuguese: Capela da Senhora da Livração)
  • Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Fonte Santa (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora da Fonte Santa)
  • Church of Pêra Velha (Portuguese: Igreja de São Miguel/Pêra Velha), an 18th-century church dedicated to the archangel Michael

References[edit]

  1. ^ IGP, ed. (2010), Carta Administrativa Oficial de Portugal (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Geográfico Português, retrieved 1 July 2011 
  2. ^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, page 552 74" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  4. ^ Eurostat
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Câmara Municipal, ed. (2011), Pêra Velha (in Portuguese), Moimenta da Beira, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de Moimenta da Beira, retrieved 21 October 2011