Águeda

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The Umbrella-Lined Streets of Agueda
The Umbrella-Lined Streets of Agueda
Agueda  is a city  in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 47,729, in an area of 335.27 km². The city proper had a population of 14,504 in 2001, while the remainder is distributed in 11 parishes, within the Baixo Vouga Subregion.

History :  Agueda, has been a municipal seat since 1834 and has had official city status since 1985. It was built on a foundation of successive Celt, Turduli and Lusitanian inhabitants since 370 BCE. Ancient occupation of this area dates back to the Bronze Age, marked by diverse megalithic monuments, including the archaeological site at Cabeco de Vouga, an important Roman military fortification along routes from Olissipo (Lisbon) to Bracara. In the 9th Century, Agueda was a prosperous borough, with stable commerce and an active port that supported local and regional businesses. It was mentioned in documents from 1050 to 1077, by its primitive name Casal Lousado (Latin: Casal Lousato), or by its anglicized forms: Anegia, Agatha and Agada; by the 9th Century, this settlement was referred to as Agata. In a document dated 1050, there is mention of several villages situated within the current borders, many with names originating from Arab languages.

Agueda never achieved a foral during the Middle Ages, in contrast to its neighbors, it was considered regal lands and dominions of the monasteries of Lorvao and Vacarica. It functioned as an ancillary center on the road to Santiago de Compostela, and the river-side village was most certainly visited by Queen Isabel in 1325, during her customary pilgrimages to the religious center. A new phase of settlement occurred after the establishment of the Kingdom of Portugal, from the 11th–12th century: although its inhabitants prospered, and had many privileges, their representatives from Aveiro in the Cortes of Evora (1451), never requested a foral declaration. King D. Manuel I included Agueda in a general foral granted to Aveiro, in 1515, but was only, later, provided a separate charter.

In 1834, Agueda ascended to the category of municipal seat, as a consequence of the Liberal Revolution, when major administrative reforms were initiated. Its important political place and strategic politico-military position, allowed Agueda to support military troops during the second French Invasion, when it functioned as military hospital. Resulting from the administrative reform, Agueda began its political career in the shadow of great change, and many of its citizens were important land reformers. The municipality of Agueda, was established on 31 December 1853, and integrated many older concelhos of medieval origins long since extinct, including Aguada de Cima, Castanheira do Vouga and Prestimo. As a frontier city located between the sea and land, it occupies a privileged position, serviced by both railroads and an expanding road network. These advancements, allowed the economic and social development of the region, and placed Agueda in an important position, resulting in its growth and development. On 8 July 1985, Agueda was elevated to the category of city.

Architecture :  There are several sites of cultural significance and landscapes within the municipality that the local authority has attempted to preserve in order to promote tourism; resulting in the establishment of infrastructures and services in order to preserve these examples of local patrimony.

Civic :  Archaeological site of Cabeco do Vouga (Portuguese: Estacao arqueologica do Cabeco do Vouga),also referred by the Roman Castelium Marnelis, is an archeological excavation of an early Roman civitates in the foothills of the Vouga River (Cabeco da Mina, Cabeco Redonda and Cabeco do Vouga in Lamas da Vouga).
Religious :  Convent of Santo Antonio (Portuguese: Convento de Santo Antonio) located in Serem, its construction began in 1634 by Diogo Soares, the Count/Duke of Olivares, to house a dozen Franciscans from the province of Santo Santonio. On 16 April 1635, the cornerstone was placed, and construction lasted until December 1640, at the Count’s expense. Construction continued in 1641, and lasted until 1658–59, briefly interrupted by the lack of funds, which originally stopped the addition of a cloister, chorus and some monastery offices. With the abolition of the religious orders in 1834, the convent passed into the hands of Jose Henriques Ferreira, then Augusto Gomes, who improved some of the installations.
Convent of Santa Maria de Lamas (Portuguese: Convento de Santa Maria de Lamas), was constructed (in 957) in the area of Passal, by Enderquina Pala, who later dedicated it to the Santissimo Salvador of Viseu (Holy Saviour of Viseu), but later donated it to the monastery of Lorvao (in 961). During the 17th Century, it was remodeled, to include a commemorative wall, which has since been moved to the parochial church of Lamas do Vouga. In the 18th Century, the convent’s church was already in an advance state of degradation, resulting in the construction of a new church in the community of Lamas. The only remnants of original convent and church is a non-descriptive niche in the site in Passal.

Culture :  Among its traditional artisan products, the region is recognized for its traditional clay pottery, handmade baskets, knitted craft-works, tannery products. Suckling pig, in the style of Bairrada is the most significant contribution to gastronomy in the region, although sweets are not far behind: pasteis de Agueda (English: custard), barriga de freira, fuzis and sequilhos, in addition to the padas da Veiga. Other common dishes in this region: chanfana, rojoes, carne a lampantana or caldeirda de peixe (English: fish stew), all great meals that are accompanied by local wines and sparkling drinks from the cellars of the Bairrada region.

Access : Coordinates : 40.574444, -8.448056 / The region is travelled in the north/south direction by the Port-Lisbon motorway, being the county “served” through the liaison nodes of Albergaria-A-Velha, to the north, and Bairro, to the south, the connection that is made respectively by the road A25 and EN333. Still in the same direction is the route with the highest flow of traffic that exists in the municipality: the EN1/IC2. The “interior” comes essentially from three different road routes: The EN230, which connects Aveiro to Caramulo, the EN333, which connects Bairro to the link node to A25, in carved, and the EN336 linking the EN230 to Mortagua. It is still the county crossed to the north by the A25 , which connects Aveiro to the beautiful Vilar, however its access flow diluted either in the traffic of EN1/IC2, or on the national Road no 333. Still in the county space, and an extension of 21.082 Kms, crosses the railway line of the Vouga , a narrow route linking Aveiro to the Vouga, and which plays an important role in the daily movement of the population of the entire region.

Highlights :

  • AgitAgueda ( a spirited annual cultural ) , Igreja da Trofa ( Portuguese National Monument ) , Pateira de Fermentelos ( The largest natural lake on the Iberian Peninsula is just a few seconds from the centre of Agueda ) , Museu Ferroviario de Macinhata do Vouga ( the Linha da Vouga railway was opened by King Manuel II in 1908 ) ,
  • Archaeological Site of Cabeco do Vouga , Casa Museu Cancioneiro de Agueda ( 18th-century townhouse ) , Museu da Fundacao Dionisio Pinheiro e Alice Cardoso Pinheiro ( In 1985 this collection of painting, sculpture, porcelain, silver, jewellery, furniture, musical instruments, clocks and ivory was put on show in the six exhibition halls of this museum
  •  Ponte Medieval do Rio Marnel ( Marnel River park, with a wooden walkway ) , Alianca Underground Museum ( tunnels are exhibitions of archaeology, African art, contemporary Zimbabwean sculpture, minerals such as massive geodes, fossils, ceramics from Caldas da Rainha and antique Portuguese tiles )
  • Parque da Alta Vila (Park with exotic trees and built a chapel, false medieval ruins, bridges over a miniature lake, snaking paths, a greenhouse, grottos, hunting lodge and a chalet) , The Umbrella-Lined Streets of Agueda

Events : Every year in July the city of Agueda bursts with colour and joie de vivre! The Umbrella Sky Project became a worldwide success and the images of the beautiful colourful umbrellas have indeed crossed the world! This event will be held from July 7th to 29th, taking place at the square Praca 1? de Maio by the river. Apart from urban art, AgitAgueda will also present daily music concerts. You can’t possibly miss this amazing event!

Activities : Wine Tourism , Horseback Riding , The Vouga Historical Train runs on Saturdays between July and September ,

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