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Lamego is a municipality in northern Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, with a population of 27,054 inhabitants (the catchment of the city of Lamego
Lamego is a municipality in northern Portugal, with a population of 27,054 inhabitants Lamego is a municipality in northern Portugal, with a population of 27,054 inhabitants Lamego is a municipality in northern Portugal, with a population of 27,054 inhabitants (the catchment of the city of...

 has a population of about 8,848, which includes the historic center and approximately 17,000 in its urban area. It is located in the Norte Region of the Douro, part of the old district of Viseu.


The toponomic name Lamego was derived from Lamaecus, a name Roman-Hispanic derivative to indicate the possessor of agrarian titles in the third century around the local castle. The area was inhabited by Ligures
The Ligures were an ancient people who gave their name to Liguria, a region of north-western Italy.-Classical sources:...

 and Turduli
The Turduli were an ancient Celtiberian tribe of Lusitania, akin to the Lusitanians. They lived in the south of modern Portugal, in the east of the province of Alentejo, along the Guadiana valley , and Extremadura proper...

, and during the Roman presence it was occupied by Coelerni
The Coelerni were an ancient Celtic tribe of Gallaecia in Hispania , part of Calaician or Gallaeci people , living in what was to become the Roman Province of Hispania Citerior, convent of Bracara Augusta , in what is now the southern part of the province of Ourense .Some sources, like Alarcão,...

, which left behind several monuments. Due to the placement of the castle, it is likely that a castro
Castro culture
Castro culture is the archaeological term for naming the Celtic archaeological culture of the northwestern regions of the Iberian Peninsula from the end of the Bronze Age until it was subsumed in local Roman culture...

 originally existed on the site. During the Inquirições (Inventory/Enquiries) of King Afonso (during the 13th century) there was reference to the Castro de Lameco, referred to as a medieval fortification. Destroyed by the Romans, the inhabitants were forced to descend into the valley and cultivate the land, as part of the Roman reorganization of the land.

Lamego became Christian when the Visigoth
The Visigoths were one of two main branches of the Goths, the Ostrogoths being the other. These tribes were among the Germans who spread through the late Roman Empire during the Migration Period...

ic king Recaredo I converted to Christianty. In 570, during the Council of Lugo, there appeared references to Sardinário the Bishop of Lamego
Roman Catholic Diocese of Lamego
-External links:*...

. During the reign of Sisebuto (612-621), the Visigothic monarch coined currency from Lamego, indicating the importance of the region to commerce and culture. Just outside the town, within walking distance from the back of the cathedral, is the tiny 7th century São Pedro de Balsemão
São Pedro de Balsemão
São Pedro de Balsemão Chapel, is a small Visigothic chapel believed to be the oldest in Portugal and second oldest in Europe. The earliest walls date to the 7th century. The chapel is located just outside the town of Lamego, within walking distance from the back of the cathedral.-See also:*Oldest...

 Chapel, a Visigothic chapel believed to be the oldest in Portugal (and second oldest in Europe).

A region alternated between peace and war in the following years as Christians and Arabs fought the territory, until Ferdinand I of León and Castile conquered the region definitively on 29 November 1057. As a consequence the bishopric was moved after these events (to later be resotred in 1071).

In 1128, the nascent national Egas Moniz, had his tenancy in Lamego while his residence was in Britiande
Britiande is a town in Portugal....

, as master of the Riba–Douro, between Paiva
Paiva is a Portuguese family surnames, of toponymic origin.It may refer to:-People:*Adriano de Paiva, Portuguese scientist*Afonso de Paiva, Portuguese diplomat and explorer of Ethiopia*Antonia Caetana de Paiva Pereira Maury, American astronomer...

 and Távora (in addition to the lands of Côa).

The most significant moment in the town's history was in 1139, when nobles declared Afonso Henriques to be Portugal's first king. The town's Gothic cathedral was built by him, although only the Romanesque
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

 tower is left from the original building, with its carved Renaissance portal and fine cloister dating from the 16th and 18th centuries. The 12th century castle preserves a fine keep and a very old and unusual cistern
A cistern is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns are often built to catch and store rainwater. Cisterns are distinguished from wells by their waterproof linings...

 with monogram
A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a...

s of master masons.

King Sancho I
Sancho I of Portugal
Sancho I , nicknamed the Populator , second monarch of Portugal, was born on 11 November 1154 in Coimbra and died on 26 March 1212 in the same city. He was the second but only surviving legitimate son and fourth child of Afonso I of Portugal by his wife, Maud of Savoy. Sancho succeeded his father...

 issued a charter of independence in 1191, as the local community grew around two poles: the ecclesiastical parishes of Sé and Castelo. In 1290, King Denis
Denis of Portugal
Dinis , called the Farmer King , was the sixth King of Portugal and the Algarve. The eldest son of Afonso III of Portugal by his second wife, Beatrice of Castile and grandson of king Alfonso X of Castile , Dinis succeeded his father in 1279.-Biography:As heir to the throne, Infante Dinis was...

 provided a market charter to the city, attracting merchants from Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 and Granada
Emirate of Granada
The Emirate of Granada , also known as the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada , was an emirate established in 1238 following the defeat of Muhammad an-Nasir of the Almohad dynasty by an alliance of Christian kingdoms at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212...

 with their oriental spices and textiles. Lamego had a privileged positioned on the routes from western Iberia, as a transit point within the settlements of the Além-Douro, Braga
Braga , a city in the Braga Municipality in northwestern Portugal, is the capital of the Braga District, the oldest archdiocese and the third major city of the country. Braga is the oldest Portuguese city and one of the oldest Christian cities in the World...

 and Guimarães
Guimarães Municipality is located in northwestern Portugal in the province of Minho and in the Braga District. It contains the city of Guimarães.The present Mayor is António Magalhães Silva, elected by the Socialist Party.-Parishes:-Economy:...

, from Alcântara
Alcântara is a Brazilian city in the state of Maranhão. The city has a population of 22,359 , and is 30 km away from the state's capital, São Luís....

 and Mérida
Mérida, Spain
Mérida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, western central Spain. It has a population of 57,127 . The Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.- Climate :...

 to Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

 and Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

. It was also one of the preferred routes on the Saint James Way pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

. But, two events changed the economic and social circumstances in the region: the conquest of Granada which drove the last of the Moors from the Peninsula; and the discovery of the maritime connection to India, which resulted in a slow decline for the region.

Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 issued a foral
thumb|left|200px|Foral of Castro Verde - PortugalThe word foral derives from the Portuguese word foro, ultimately from Latin forum, equivalent to Spanish fuero, Galician foro, Catalan furs and Basque foru ....

 (charter) in 1514. Also in the 16th century, Manuel de Noronha (one of the more notable prelates of Lamego) was appointed the Bishop of Lamego, occupying the role for the next 18 years and referred to the "great builder", responsible for the cult of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Our Lady of Remedies).

In the 17th and 18th century, the solares (country estates) are slowly constructed in Lamego, resulting from the wine commerce down the Douro. The economic growth of viticulture
Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture...

 along the Douro resulted in the issuance of a writ by the Marquess of Pombal
Marquess of Pombal
Count of Oeiras was a Portuguese title of nobility created by a royal decree, dated from July 15, 1759, by King Joseph I of Portugal, and granted to Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Head of the Portuguese Government....

 to designate the area as the Região Demarcada do Douro and the establishment of the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro (General Company of the Wine Agriculture of the Upper Douro).

In 1835, Lamego was the capital of the district, but lost this title to Viseu (December 1835), under the authority of the King's Minister Luís Mouzinho de Albuquerque.
In 1919, in an attempt to restore the monarchy, Lamego became the capital of the district for 24 days.

During the second half of the 19th century, during the presidency of the Viscount of Guedes Teixeira, Lamego begins a process of modernization with the construction of new avenues.

After the establishment of the First Republic, during the presidency of Alfredo de Sousa, Lamego undergoes a new phase of building, including the construction a bridge over the Coura River.

Human geography

The municipality of Lamego is divided into 23 local-area governments headed by their own councils and executives, that include:

  • Almacave
  • Avões
  • Bigorne
  • Britiande
    Britiande is a town in Portugal....

  • Cambres
    Cambres is a town in Portugal....

  • Cepões
  • Ferreirim
  • Ferreiros de Avões
  • Figueira
  • Lalim
    Lalim is a town in Lamego Municipality in Portugal....

  • Lazarim
  • Magueija
  • Meijinhos
  • Melcões
  • Parada do Bispo
  • Penajóia
  • Penude
  • Pretarouca
  • Samodães
  • Sande
  • Sé (city of Lamego)
  • Valdigem
  • Várzea de Abrunhais
  • Vila Nova de Souto d'El-Rei

  • Economy

    The principal activities in this region are tied to the service sector, with commerce and agriculture also representing an important part of the economy. In particular viticulture
    Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture...

    , since the municipality (and other municipalities in the region) have been designated as part of the Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC), a control used to classify wine products as a locally produced product of origin, for national and international marketing. Lamego has a large shopping centre, with approximately 30 main shops, three malls of medium-size and several small traditional shops. Industrial activities are concentrated in the industrial zone in the parish of Várzea de Abrunhais. Lamego textiles are also promoted but tend to be small-scale production runs, with few medium- to large-companies envolved in mass-production.
    The tourist sector is primarily associated with the monuments and religious buildings, and has been a growing part of the local economy. The extension of the A24 motorway has been important in attracting more visitors and businesses to the region.

    External links