|• President||Rui Santos (PS)|
|• Total||378.80 km2 (146.26 sq mi)|
|Elevation||450 m (1,480 ft)|
|• Density||140/km2 (350/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC±00:00 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+01:00 (WEST)|
Vila Real (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvilɐ ʁiˈal] (listen)) is the capital and largest city of the Vila Real District, northern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 51,850, in an area of 378.80 square kilometres (146.26 sq mi).
The region shows traces of inhabitation during the paleolithic era, while the settlement of Panóias had a Roman presence. Vila Real itself was founded in 1289 by King Denis of Portugal, hence its name, meaning Royal Town. It housed more members of the royal family during the Middle Ages than any other settlement in Portugal except the capital in Lisbon, and family Coats of Arms remain above old houses, some of which still occupied by those families. Vineyards were introduced to the municipality in 1764, growing red, white and rosé wines for export. Despite its royal presence, Vila Real only gained city status under the Portuguese Republic in 1925.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of Vila Real - a sword embedded in a wreath of zambujeiro (wild olive tree) and the slogan Aleu - is derived from the decorative motif of the tomb of Pedro de Menezes, 1st Count of Vila Real, found in the Igreja da Graça in Santarém. 'Aleu' or 'aleo' is an old Portuguese term for a 'gaming stick' (as used in hockey or shuffleboard). It refers to a famous episode concerning Pedro de Menezes from shortly after the Conquest of Ceuta on September 2 1415 (commemorated on Ceuta Day). Pedro de Menezes was engaged in an outdoor game in the king's presence when a messenger arrived reporting an imminent Moroccan attack on Portuguese-held Ceuta. Menezes is said to have raised his gaming stick (aleo) and told the king that "with that stick alone" he could defend Ceuta from all the power of Morocco. Similar design can be seen on the coat of arms of Alcoutim, where Pedro's descendants were made Count's of Alcoutim.
- Capela da Misericórdia
- Capela de São Brás e o túmulo de Teixeira de Macedo
- Capela do Espírito Santo ou Capela do Bom Jesus do Hospital
- Diogo Cão's house
- Carvalho Araújo's house
- Brocas' house
- Marqueses's house de Vila Real
- Cathedral of Vila Real
- St. Peter's church
- Bom Jesus do Calvário church
- Clérigos's church or "Capela Nova"
- Pelourinho de Vila Real
- Archaeology and Numismatic Museum
- Geology Museum at the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
- Ethnographic Museum
- Sound and Image Museum, at the Vila Real's Theatre
- Vila Velha Museum
Outside the city centre
- Alvão Natural Park
- Mateus Palace
- Quintela's tower
- Mamoas de Justes
- Mão do Homem, in Adoufe
- Necrópole de S. Miguel da Pena
- Santuário de Panóias, in Vale de Nogueiras
Located in a promontory, formed by the gorges of the Corgo and Cabril rivers, Vila Real has an elevation of 460 m (1,510 ft). The Alvão and Marão mountains overlook the town on the northwest and southwest side, respectively, rising up to 1,400 m (4,600 ft).
Due to the geographical location, its climate is a mix between Temperate and Mediterranean. Winters are long, with negative temperatures and frequent frosts. Snowfalls usually occur at least 4 times a year. In summer, it is common to reach temperatures near 40 °C (104 °F).
|Climate data for Vila Real, elevation: 481 m or 1,578 ft, 1971-1991 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.8
|Average high °C (°F)||9.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.8
|Average low °C (°F)||2.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.5
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||141.1
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||14.9||14.1||13.0||13.8||11.9||8.5||4.6||4.0||6.8||12.7||11.7||13.7||129.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||105.3||120.0||177.7||187.7||233.3||282.4||327.8||319.3||231.7||170.2||133.5||100.1||2,389|
|Source: Instituto de Meteorologia|
Vila Real's municipality consists of 20 freguesias or civil parishes, which are not all coexistent with the ecclesiastical parishes or paróquias. The civil parish Vila Real (Nossa Senhora da Conceição, São Pedro e São Dinis) is officially the city of Vila Real.
- Adoufe e Vilarinho de Samardã
- Borbela e Lamas de Olo
- Constantim e Vale de Nogueiras
- Mouçós e Lamares
- Nogueira e Ermida
- Parada de Cunhos
- Pena, Quintã e Vila Cova
- São Tomé do Castelo e Justes
- Vila Marim
- Vila Real (Nossa Senhora da Conceição, São Pedro e São Dinis)
- A24 - Connects Chaves (frontier with Galiza, Spain), to the North, and Viseu, to the South.
- A4 - Main Road that connects Porto, to the West, and Bragança, Northeast and the frontier with Castilla y Leon, Spain.
Vila Real airfield (VRL) - Located 4 km from city centre, near the Industrial Zone, in the Folhadela parish. Has a paved runway with 950×30 m. A scheduled airline service operated by Aero VIP serves some domestic destinations.
The Corgo line was a metre gauge railway that connected the city to Regua, 25 km south, in the Douro valley. It closed for renovation in 2009, but due to spending cuts by the Portuguese Government the closure has become permanent. It followed the Corgo river valley and offered splendid views to the characteristic vineyards clinging on to almost vertical. Until 1990 the Corgo line also continued north to Chaves.
The city bus system in Vila Real is run by Corgobus; there are 5 lines and about 1.35 million people in 2008 were transported.
- Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) Portugal - 100 km
- Porto Portugal - 97 km
- Lisboa Portugal - 411 km
- Braga Portugal - 100 km
- Chaves Portugal - 68 km
- Bragança Portugal - 120 km
- Viseu Portugal - 90 km
- Madrid Spain - 520 km
- Faro Portugal - 613 km
Vila Real was the fourth Portuguese town to have public supply of electricity, but it was the first to produce hydroelectric power, in 1894.
Education, science and technology
Twin towns — sister cities
- Diogo Cão (15th century) - navigator
- Gen. José Augusto Alves Roçadas (1865–1926) - colonial governor in Angola
- Carvalho Araújo (1881–1918) - politician and soldier
- Paulo Alves (b. 1969) - football player
- Simão Sabrosa (b. 1979) - football player
- ITDS, Rui Campos, Pedro Senos. "Statistics Portugal". Ine.pt. Retrieved 2016-07-29.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "Áreas das freguesias, concelhos, distritos e país". Archived from the original on 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
- Classificação Expresso das melhores cidades portuguesas para viver em 2007, Expresso
- Insight Guides Portugal (2011 edition).
- "Eu só com este páu, sou capaz de defender Ceuta, de todo o poder dos mouros", as reported in Portugal antigo e moderno, 1878, p. 495.
- "Monthly Averages for Vila Real, Portugal (1971–2000)" (PDF). Instituto de Meteorologia. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, pages 552 136-137" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Futebol Total..: AF Vila Real". Futeboltotal-victor.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
- "Relações Internacionais". cm-vilareal.pt (in Portuguese). Vila Real. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Villa Real.|