Centro, Portugal
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The Central Region ( pt, Região do Centro, ) or Central Portugal is one of the statistical regions of
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
. The cities with major administrative status inside this region are
Coimbra Coimbra (, also , , or ) is a city and a concelho, municipality in Portugal. The population of the municipality at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of . The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon, Porto and Braga), it is the ...

Coimbra
, Aveiro,
Viseu Viseu () is a city and municipality in the Centro Region The Central Region ( pt, Região do Centro, ) or Central Portugal is one of the statistical regions of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portug ...

Viseu
,
Caldas da Rainha Caldas da Rainha () is a medium-sized city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. ...
,
Leiria Leiria (; cel-x-proto, ɸlāryo) is a city and municipality in the Central Region of Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on ...

Leiria
, Castelo Branco,
Covilhã Covilhã () is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which ...

Covilhã
,
Torres Vedras Torres Vedras () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it i ...

Torres Vedras
and Guarda. It is one of the seven
Regions of Portugal Administratively, Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, ...
(
NUTS Nut often refers to: * Nut (fruit) A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage and in a Culinary nut, culinary sense, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botan ...
II subdivisions). It is also one of the regions of Europe, as given by the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
for statistical and
geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...

geographical
purposes. Its area totals . As of 2011, its population totalled 2,327,026 inhabitants, with a population density of 82 inhabitants per square kilometre.


History

Inhabited by the
Lusitanians , Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=no ), is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state in mainland E ...
, an
Indo-European people The Proto-Indo-Europeans were a hypothetical prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed ...
living in the western
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region o ...

Iberian Peninsula
, the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
settled in the region and colonized it as a part of the Roman Province of ''
Lusitânia
Lusitânia
''. The Roman town of
Conímbriga Conímbriga is one of the largest Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans ...

Conímbriga
, near
Coimbra Coimbra (, also , , or ) is a city and a concelho, municipality in Portugal. The population of the municipality at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of . The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon, Porto and Braga), it is the ...

Coimbra
, is among the most noted and well-preserved remains of that period. After the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Rom ...
,
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European t ...
were the main rulers and colonizers from the 5th to the 8th century. In the 8th century, the Muslim conquest of Iberia turned the region a Muslim-dominated territory. In the earliest years of the Christian ''Reconquista'', just before the rise of a Portuguese national identity, the region was a battleplace between Christian Crusades, crusaders and Muslim Moors. Once the Christians, Christian regained control, kings and landlords made the region a county, called the County of Coimbra. It was integrated into the newly created ''Condado Portucalensis'', the early precursor of the modern nation of
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
. The modern region matches up roughly with the boundaries of the historical Beira, Portugal, Beira Province, as well as the ''Oeste Subregion, Oeste'' in former Estremadura Province (1936-1976), Estremadura and ''Médio Tejo Subregion, Médio Tejo'' in former Ribatejo. Beira, Portugal, Beira was an historical province of Portugal and its name was used by the heirs to the Portuguese throne during the monarchy period, before 1910. The princes were known as the Princes of Beira.


Historic villages

Along the region's mountainous border with Spain are a series of Fortification, fortresses and castles that once protected the country from its many invaders. Over the centuries, Moors, Christians, Spaniards and Portuguese people, Portuguese have all tried to take these villages, but their higher elevations usually gave them a distinct advantage. On that border, the more than one dozen fortified frontier villages beckon today's visitors to come explore a 900-year history — full of the heroism, epic battles and romance upon which
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
struggled to become a nation. Today, Portugal boasts the longest-standing border in all of Europe.In these rural border villages, ancient rituals and religious festivals remain popular. Visitors can sample them and partake in the traditional foods of that area, such as cheese, sausages, and mountain honey. In the fortress town of Almeida, Portugal, Almeida, a walk through the narrow cobbled streets can lead a visitor to the ruins of a once mighty 12-pointed fortress. One of Portugal's many ''Pousadas''— an historic property turned into an inn— is located in Almeida. In the town of Castelo Rodrigo, a memorial stone marks the place of a fierce battle in 1664, and visitors can view the remains of the castle and its keep, as well as a palace. The town also has a small Gothic architecture, Gothic church. Near Castelo Mendo stands an intricate stone bridge built by the Roman Empire, Romans.


Frontier castles

Most of the castles in this border region of Central are classified as List of national monuments of Portugal, national monuments. These stone fortresses date back to the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Castles, or parts of castles, still stand at Alfaiates, Sortelha, Vila Maior (Santa Maria da Feira), Vilar Maior, Sabugal, Castelo Mendo, Castelo do Mau Vizinho, Castelo Bom, Castelo Rodrigo, Penamacor, Monsanto, Pinhel and Almeida. A 20-castle route has been delineated by the Portugal government (se
www.visitportugal.com
, of which Sortelha, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Rodrigo and the fortified town of Almeida, Portugal, Almeida are considered gems among them all.


Geography

The ''Centro'' is a region of diversified landscapes. The interior is mountainous with some plateaus, dominated by the Serra da Estrela mountain. The region is plentiful of pine tree, pine and chestnut trees forests. The green, rugged landscape of this region is crisscrossed by rivers. Several river valleys at the foot of the mountains have a full bodied charm that draw one to outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, tennis and canoeing. In the Winter season, skiing on ''Serra da Estrela'' is a popular activity, but in some places, like near the town of Seia, skiing before the Winter season is possible due to artificial snow infrastructures. The coastal plain has several beaches, like the ones of Mira, Portugal, Mira, Figueira da Foz, Ílhavo, Nazaré, Portugal, Nazaré, Peniche, Portugal, Peniche and São Martinho do Porto. Natural landmarks in this region are the Serra da Estrela mountain range (the biggest and highest in mainland Portugal), with its Serra da Estrela Natural Park, the Mondego River, Mondego river (the longest river located exclusively in Portuguese territory), the Aveiro Lagoon ''(Ria de Aveiro)'' and the coastal beaches. The largest urban centres include
Coimbra Coimbra (, also , , or ) is a city and a concelho, municipality in Portugal. The population of the municipality at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of . The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon, Porto and Braga), it is the ...

Coimbra
, Fátima, Portugal, Fátima, Aveiro,
Viseu Viseu () is a city and municipality in the Centro Region The Central Region ( pt, Região do Centro, ) or Central Portugal is one of the statistical regions of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portug ...

Viseu
,
Leiria Leiria (; cel-x-proto, ɸlāryo) is a city and municipality in the Central Region of Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on ...

Leiria
,
Covilhã Covilhã () is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which ...

Covilhã
, Castelo Branco, Figueira da Foz, Guarda, Pombal, Portugal, Pombal, Tomar, Abrantes,
Torres Vedras Torres Vedras () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it i ...

Torres Vedras
, Torres Novas, Águeda Municipality, Águeda and
Caldas da Rainha Caldas da Rainha () is a medium-sized city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. ...
.


Subregions

The region is divided in eight sub-regions: * Beira Baixa (intermunicipal community), Beira Baixa * Beiras e Serra da Estrela * Médio Tejo * Oeste (intermunicipal community), Oeste * Região de Aveiro * Região de Coimbra * Região de Leiria * Viseu Dão Lafões


Economy

The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 38.2 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 18.8% of Portugal's economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 20,100 euros or 67% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 68% of the EU average. One of Portugal's richest regions by the abundance of natural streams of water, forests, arable land and its long coast line, the Central region has some of the most economically dynamic and densely populated municipalities of the country. Excellent transportation links with the Lisbon metropolitan area to the south and the Porto Metropolitan Area to the north, making ocean, rail and motorway access possible via containers, have all contributed to making manufacturing the principal industry, found mainly in the littoral strip, which is one of the largest industrialized areas in Portugal. Important products such as motor vehicles, food, electrical appliances, machinery, chemicals, and paper are produced there. Higher education in Portugal, Higher education, Science and technology in Portugal, research and development, Health in Portugal, healthcare, information technologies, biotechnology, forestry, Agriculture in Portugal, agriculture, Fishing in Portugal, fishing, and Tourism in Portugal, tourism industries are all major industries in the region. The Portuguese wines, wine regions of Dão DOC and Bairrada DOC are among the most reputed in
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
. The major industrial, commerce, and service centres are located in and around
Coimbra Coimbra (, also , , or ) is a city and a concelho, municipality in Portugal. The population of the municipality at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of . The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon, Porto and Braga), it is the ...

Coimbra
, Aveiro,
Viseu Viseu () is a city and municipality in the Centro Region The Central Region ( pt, Região do Centro, ) or Central Portugal is one of the statistical regions of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portug ...

Viseu
,
Leiria Leiria (; cel-x-proto, ɸlāryo) is a city and municipality in the Central Region of Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on ...

Leiria
,
Covilhã Covilhã () is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which ...

Covilhã
, Castelo Branco, and Figueira da Foz. Important light industry and agriculture is also based in and around Guarda, Torres Novas,
Torres Vedras Torres Vedras () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it i ...

Torres Vedras
and
Caldas da Rainha Caldas da Rainha () is a medium-sized city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. ...
.


Education

The Central region has three public universities: the University of Coimbra, the oldest Portuguese university and the largest in the region; the Aveiro University; and the University of Beira Interior. There are also five state-run Polytechnic (Portugal), polytechnical institutes: Castelo Branco Polytechnical Institute; Coimbra Polytechnical Institute; Guarda Polytechnical Institute; Leiria Polytechnical Institute; and Viseu Polytechnical Institute. In addition, there are a large number of public nursing schools and private school, private higher education institutions across the region.


See also

* Provinces of Portugal *
Regions of Portugal Administratively, Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, ...


References


External links


Center of Portugal
(Official Center Tourism site)
Fatima Tourism
(Official Fatima Tourism site) {{Regions of Portugal Centro Region, Portugal, NUTS 2 statistical regions of the European Union NUTS 2 statistical regions of Portugal