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Vila Vicosa

4.2
Architectural Buildings · Castles · Landmarks
Vila Viçosa is a municipality in the District of Évora in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 8,319, in an area of 194.86 km².The municipal holiday is August 16.ParishesAdministratively, the municipality is divided into 4 civil parishes: Bencatel Ciladas Nossa Senhora da Conceição e São Bartolomeu PardaisHistoryThe area of Vila Viçosa has been inhabited since Antiquity, and it was the site of a small settlement in Roman times. The region was part of the Visigoth Kingdom and in the eighth century came under Moorish control after the Muslim conquest of Hispania. Moorish domination ended in 1217, when the region was reconquered by the Order of Aviz, a military order of knighthood that reclaimed large parts of Southern Portugal to the Christians. The order promoted the settlement of Christians in the area during the 13th century. In 1270, King Afonso III granted a foral(letter of feudal rights) to the incipient village of Vila Viçosa. In the early 14th century, King Dinis I built a castle in the village, to protect it from potential Castilian incursions.In 1461, Vila Viçosa came to the hands of the House of Braganza, one of the most important houses of nobility of Portugal. This event was crucial in the history of the village, which became the main base of the Dukes of Braganza in the next centuries. The Dukes had considerable wealth and greatly promoted the economic, urban and artistic development of the village.
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