|Intermunic. comm.||Viseu Dão Lafões|
|• President||Almeida Henriques (PSD)|
|• Total||507.10 km2 (195.79 sq mi)|
|• Density||200/km2 (510/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC±00:00 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+01:00 (WEST)|
|Local holiday||September 21|
Viseu (Portuguese pronunciation: [viˈzew] (
Viseu is a regional economic hub with a strong wine industry and is the seat of international conglomerate Visabeira. The city is also a cultural center, home to the nationally acclaimed Grão Vasco Museum, seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Viseu, and pole of national universities, including the Catholic University of Portugal.
The origins of the city of Viseu date back to the Celtic period when it was called ‘Vissaîegobor’. With its Romanization, the settlement gained importance and was renamed ‘Vissaium’, being at the intersection of a series of Roman roads linking Mérida, Lisbon, and Galicia.
Viseu is associated with Viriathus, since it is thought that the Lusitanian hero may have been born in this region. After the Roman occupation of the peninsula, under the Visigoths, the settlement was elevated to the status of city and to the seat of a diocese by at least the 6th century.
The origins of Viseu extends to proto-history, when migrating groups settled the territory, including the Celts and Lusitanians. Roman colonists settled in this territories during eras of prosperity and peace, leading eventually to Suebic, Gothic and Muslim cultures.The Suebic peoples, by the middle of the 6th century, had already established a community, with a bishop that existed at the suffrage of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Braga. With the arrival of North African Muslims, the Visigoths escaped the territory to the distant mountains of Asturias.
The lands of Viseu frequently switched hands between the Christians and Moors, who referred to Viseu as Bazu,and was definitely taken in 1058, due to the victory of Ferdinand I of León. But, his siege left such destruction that only in 1147–1148, during the Reconquista, that the Diocese of Viseu had the conditions to support a bishop. For many years it had been absorbed by the Bishopric of Coimbra, due to the intervention of the priors, including S. Teotónio. Viseu began recuperating its importance as an urban centre; "rapidly, [it] recuperated its lost transitory brilliance or worsened its activities and differentiation social". It was another three centuries of laborious peace that allowed Viseu to grow once more. It was following the death of King Ferdinand I, the Castilians sought to enforce (by force-of-arms), its rights to the lands/territories of the County of Portugal.
During Countship of Portugal, Viseu served as the seat of the Corte of Henry, Count of Portugal and Countess Teresa, who granted a foral to the city in 1123. Viseu is one of the possible birthplaces of their son Afonso Henriques in 1109. Following his successful defense of his hereditary rights, and supported by nobles and clergy, Afonso Henriques founded the kingdom of Portugal.Viseu was granted a new charter 1187, that was later reinforced by his grandson, King Afonso II of Portugal, in 1217.
During the 1383–85 Crisis, the city was besieged by the forces of Juan I of Castile, leading to King John I of Portugal starting construction on a series of defensive fortifications which would continue being built until the reign of King Afonso V of Portugal.
The city became part of a fiefdom, when Prince Henry the Navigator, son of King John I of Portugal, was made Duke of Viseu, in 1415.
In 1475, Vasco Fernandes, famed artist of the Portuguese Renaissance, was born in the city,
In 1513, King Manuel I of Portugal renewed the charter of Viseu and a series of works were taken on throughout the city, with the opening of the first square of the city, the Rossio.
In the 19th century, a new Municipal Palace was built in the Rossio, significantly altering the flow of the city, moving it away from the medieval center to newer parts of the city.
Viseu is approximately 50 km (31 mi) East of the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by a number of mountains – Leomil, Montemuro, Lapa, Arada, Estrela and Caramulo – the tops of which are covered with thick layers of snow in Winter time, the district is crossed by a network of rivers and streamlets.
The city of Viseu has an almost central position in relation to the District lying on the so-called Viseu Plateau (in Portuguese Planalto de Viseu). It is surrounded by a mountainous system constituted to the north by the Leonil, Montemuro, and Lapa hills, to the northeast by the Arado hills, to the south and southeast by the Serra da Estrela and the Lousã hills and to the west by the Caramulo hills.
The Municipality is characterized by an irregular surface with altitudes ranging between 400 and 700 metres (1,300 and 2,300 feet). With a rough terrain, it has numerous water courses. These are found in three basins: the Vouga, the Dão and the Paiva.
Situated in a zone of transition, the concelho has several micro-climates. The Serra do Caramulo, located to the west of the city, plays an important role in climatic terms by lessening the influences of the western air masses (although the Mondego River's basin makes the penetration easier). Consequently, Viseu's climate is characterized by the existence of high temperature extremes, with cold and wet winters and hot and dry summers.
Viseu has a Mediterranean climate (Csb, bordering Csa), 22 °C (72 °F) isotherm. Its inland position and relative altitude contributes to cooler winters than in coastal areas of the country, as well as a relatively large diurnal temperature variation as well as lower averages than more low-lying inland cities in the central-north area of the country such as Castelo Branco. In spite of its inland position, the maritime influence is strong enough for there to be a seasonal lag resulting in September averaging similar temperatures as June for the 1981–2010 reference period. This also applies to October and May. However, temperatures drop sharply in November, resulting in a smaller lag for the winter season. July and August are the driest and hottest months, with daytime highs averaging 29.6 °C (85.3 °F) for both months. Winters are much wetter with an average December precipitation of 203.4 millimetres (8 in).with the 1981–2010 averages indicating it being just below the
|Climate data for Viseu, 1981-2010 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||11.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||7.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.6|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||153.2|
|Source: Instituto de Meteorologia|
|Climate data for Viseu, 1971-2000 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||11.6|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.6|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||155.7|
|Source: Instituto de Meteorologia|
Administratively, the municipality is divided into 25 civil parishes:
Due to migration in the 1960s, Viseu suffered a great decline in its population. After the end of the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974), with the return of refugees from the Portuguese African colonies that achieved independence, and resulting economic and demographic growth, starting at the end of the 1970s, the municipality increased its population by about 10 percent, giving it an estimated population of 83,261 people. Afterwards, a stagnation set in, confirmed by the 1991 census which showed a population of 83,601.
Viseu is twinned with:
The city and the region are famous for its wine (Dão Wine) and the Dão Wine institute, the Solar do Vinho do Dão can be found in the city. There is also an annual fair, the Feira de São Mateus. Furthermore, Viseu is also known for local handicrafts which include black pottery, bobbin lace, embroidery, and copper and wrought iron articles. With the good connections to major industrial centers and to the ports of Aveiro and Leixões, several industries have been installed in Viseu. Visabeira, a Portugal-based international conglomerate with interests in telecommunications, construction, industry, tourism, real estate and diversified services is headquartered in the city. Viseu also boasts a central hospital (Hospital of São Teotónio), two shopping & cinema complexes (the Fórum (2005) and the Palácio do Gelo (2008)), and numerous hostels and hotels in all categories.
The city of Viseu has a bus network – MUV – which operates several lines within the entire municipality and a recently installed funicular connecting the lower city with the upper city. The A25 motorway (formerly called IP5) connects Viseu to the seaport of Aveiro and Guarda and then on to Salamanca in Spain. The IP3 and A24, connecting Coimbra with Chaves on the Spanish border, crosses Viseu from south to north. Until the nineteen eighties Viseu had railway connections with the coast, but these were closed.
Viseu is now one of the largest cities in Europe without a railway connection. Once it was connected to Aveiro (via the Vouga line, a narrow gauge railway), and Santa Comba Dão (on the Dão line, another narrow gauge railway), where it had connection to the Linha da Beira Alta (broad gauge; international). The Dão line closed to passengers in 1988.
The municipality has an airfield – the Viseu Airport (code VSE) also known as Lobato, parish of Lordosa, Viseu – that offers schedules commercial flights to some domestic destinations with Aero VIP.
Viseu is the location of the state-run Instituto Politécnico de Viseu which has higher education polytechnic schools of education, technology and management, and agronomy. The city's political and civic groups have been pressuring the national government to upgrade this school into a university, but its desire was never achieved. However, there are 2 private university institutions, the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and the Instituto Piaget . Furthermore, since the Bologna process, the difference between universities and polytechnics are less relevant, with the exception of some degrees like medicine, economics or law, that are only awarded in universities.
There are three secondary education (the Portuguese equivalent of High School) establishments: the Escola Secundária de Viriato, Escola Secundária Alves Martins and Escola Secundária Emídio Navarro.
Aveiro is a city and a municipality in Portugal. In 2011, the population was 78,450, in an area of 197.58 square kilometres (76.29 sq mi): it is the second most populous city in the Centro Region of Portugal. Along with the neighbouring city of Ílhavo, Aveiro is part of an urban agglomeration that includes 120,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most important populated regions by density in the North Region, and primary centre of the Intermunicipal Community of Aveiro and Baixo Vouga. Administratively, the president of the municipal government is José Ribau Esteves, elected by coalition between the Social Democratic Party and the Democratic Social Centre, who governs the ten civil parishes.
Chaves is a city and a municipality in the north of Portugal. It is 10 km south of the Spanish border and 22 km south of Verín (Spain). The population in 2011 was 41,243, in an area of 591.23 km2. The municipality is the second most populous of the district of Vila Real. With origins in the Roman civitas Aquæ Flaviæ, Chaves has developed into a regional center. The urban area has 17,535 residents (2001).
Leiria is a city and a municipality in the Centro Region of Portugal and in the historical province of Beira Litoral. It is the capital of Leiria District. The population in 2011 was 126,879, in an area of 565.09 square kilometres (218.18 sq mi). It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leiria-Fátima.
Coimbra is a city and a municipality in Portugal. The population at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of 319.40 square kilometres (123.3 sq mi). The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal, it is the largest city of the district of Coimbra and the Centro Region. About 460,000 people live in the Região de Coimbra, comprising 19 municipalities and extending into an area of 4,336 square kilometres (1,674 sq mi).
Esgueira is an urban civil parish in the municipality (concelho) of Aveiro, in continental Portugal. The population in 2011 was 13,431, in an area of 17.15 km².
Santa Maria da Feira is a city and a municipality in Aveiro District in Portugal, 23 km from central Porto. The population in 2011 was 139,309, in an area of 215.88 km².
São João da Madeira, is a city and a municipality in northwestern region of the Portuguese Norte region. It's part of the larger Porto Metropolitan Area, located 30 km from central Porto. The population in 2011 was 21,713. With an area of 7.94 km², it is the smallest municipality in Portugal. In 2010, the city was distinguished in Portuguese Quality of Life studies as the "Best Municipality to Live In".
Loriga is a civil parish and town in south-central part of the municipality of Seia, in central Portugal. Part of the district of Guarda, it is 20 km away from the city of Seia, 40 km away from Viseu, 80 km away from Guarda and 320 km from Lisbon, nestled in the Serra da Estrela mountain range. The population in 2011 was 1,053, in an area of 36.25 km², including the two localities, the town of Loriga and the village of Fontão.
The Centro Region or Central Portugal is one of the statistical regions of Portugal. The cities with major administrative status inside this region are Coimbra, Aveiro, Viseu, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Covilhã and Guarda. It is one of the seven Regions of Portugal. It is also one of the regions of Europe, as given by the European Union for statistical and geographical purposes. Its area totals 28,462 km2 (10,989 sq mi). As of 2011, its population totalled 2,327,026 inhabitants, with a population density of 82 inhabitants per square kilometre.
Tondela is a municipality in the central Portuguese subregion of Dão-Lafões. The population in 2011 was 28,946, in an area of 371.22 km².
Mangualde is a municipality in the subregion of Dão-Lafões, central region of Portugal. The population in 2011 was 19,880, in an area of 219.26 km2.
Penedono is a municipality in the northern district of Viseu in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 2,952, in an area of 133.71 km².
São Pedro do Sul is a municipality in the Central Portuguese district of Viseu. Part of the subregion of Dão-Lafões, the municipality has a population of 16,851 inhabitants and includes 14 civil parishes. The seat of this municipality is the city of São Pedro do Sul, with a population of 5,728 inhabitants.
Linha do Vouga(the Vouga line) is the last surviving metre gauge railway line in Portugal still operated by Comboios de Portugal. The other remaining metre gauge lines all closed in 2009. The line is, however, also under the threat of closure.
No, or the Vain Glory of Command is a 1990 Portuguese film directed by Manoel de Oliveira. The film, starring Luís Miguel Cintra and Miguel Guilherme, depicts a series of defeats from the entire military history of Portugal – the assassination of Viriathus, the Battle of Toro, the failed attempt of Iberian Union under Afonso of Portugal and Isabella of Spain and the Battle of Alcácer Quibir – and the Lusiads episode of the Island of love, which are told through flashbacks as a professorish Portuguese soldier recounts them while marching through a Portuguese African overseas territory in 1973, during the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–74). He easily draws his comrades into philosophical musings, while the little contingent suffers surprise attacks by groups of independentist guerrillas.
Sangalhos is a town and a civil parish in the municipality of Anadia, Portugal. The population in 2011 was 4,068, in an area of 16.90 km².
Cacia is a civil parish in the municipality of Aveiro. The population in 2011 was 7,354, in an area of 35.75 km².
The Monastery of Santa Maria de Maceira Dão is a monastery in the civil parish of Fornos de Maceira Dão, in the municipality of Mangualde in the Portuguese central subregion of Dão-Lafões, classifies as National Monuments.
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