São Pedro de Moel
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São Pedro de Moel is a beach community dependent from the city, freguesia and município of Marinha Grande in the distrito of Leiria, Portugal. According to the 2011 Portuguese Census, it has 389 inhabitants.
It is located within the Pinhal de Leiria, south of the mouth of Ribeira de Moel. It is a seaside village, west of the cities of Marinha Grande and Leiria. In 1463 Don Afonso V gave São Pedro de Moel to the Count of Vila Real. The family had a palace in Leiria and several houses in São Pedro de Moel. They lived on this beach until 1641, when the last Marquis of Vila Real and Duke of Caminha were executed. The widowed Duquesa de Caminha mourned the death of her husband on a rocky outcrop overlooking the ocean, which is named in his honour - Penedo da Saudade - at the top of which there is a lighthouse of the same name. The legend of the Duquesa de Caminha also claims that the rock still resonates with her lament.
Overlooking the beach is the home of the poet Afonso Lopes Vieira which includes a chapel overlooking the ocean and a sun-clock. The house was donated by the poet to the City of Marinha Grande for use as a resort for local children. Nowadays it is also used as a museum.
In the 19th century São Pedro de Moel was the location of a thriving resin factory, using the resources of the abundant local pine forests.
The entire beach was originally part of the Portuguese Mata Nacional do Pinhal do Rei, but in 1923 was reorganised into the Marinha Grande município. It is denoted by a central statue of King Dinis and Queen Santa Isabel.
Points of interest include Praia Velha, Praia da Concha, Penedo da Saudade, the lighthouse and Ribeira de Moel, all slightly to the north. In the pine forests there are several parks. The Volta dos Sete ("Round of Seven") is a beautiful journey of approximately 7 km, via sea, beach, pine forest, parks, fountains and streams.
Article translated from Portuguese Wikipedia.
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