Douro (Portuguese: [miˈɾɐ̃dɐ ðu ˈðowɾu]) or
Miranda de l
Douro (Mirandese: [miˈɾɐ̃dɐ ðl̩ ˈdowɾʊ])
is a town and a municipality in the district of Bragança,
northeastern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 7,482, in an area
of 487.18 km². The town proper had a population of 1,960 in
2001. Referred to as the "Cidade Museu" of the Trás-os-Montes
region, it is located 86 kilometres from Bragança, preserving many of
its medieval and Renaissance-era traditions and architecture. It has a
language of its own, Mirandese, which enjoys official status in
Portugal, in addition to cultural and historical discontinuity with
the rest of the Portuguese state. The town is located on the border
with Spain, with the
Douro River separating the two countries. The
nearest town in
Spain is Zamora.
The present mayor is Manuel Rodrigo Martins (Social Democrat) and the
president of the Municipal Assembly is Domingos Duarte Lima (Social
Democrat). The municipal holiday is on July 10.
2.1 Physical geography
2.1.1 Ecoregions/Protectet areas
2.3 Human geography
2.3.1 Twin towns — Sister cities
3.1 Mirandese language
4 Notable citizens
5 See also
7 External links
The origin of Miranda do
Douro as a populated place is still discussed
by historians, but archeologist discoveries give evidence that
inhabitants had been living there during the Bronze Age. Around AD
716, the Moors defeated local Visigothic tribes, and occupied some of
the lands, calling the area Mir-Hândul.
By the late 11th century, Castile coveted the region as a
stepping-stone to Portugal. The settlement of the village of
Miranda developed through the initiative of King Denis, in an area
that lay between the lateral slopes of the
Douro and Fresno Rivers. It
was in Miranda that the Treaty of Alcanices was signed between Denis
and Ferdinand IV of Castile, setting the border between the two
kingdoms. Miranda was founded on 18 December 1286, and immediately
elevated to the status of vila (English: town), with one of its
prerequisites declaring that the administrative division would be a
Crown fief. From that period forward, Miranda became progressively
one of the most important towns that skirted the Trás-os-Montes
The Castilians finally occupied Miranda do
Douro during the late 14th
century, and would remain there until they were expelled by John I of
Portugal. On 10 July 1545, King John III elevated Miranda do Douro
to the status of city, at the same time becoming the first diocese in
Trás-os-Montes (in a papal bull on 22 May 1545 by Pope Paul III,
which segmented a major part of the archdiocese of Braga. Miranda,
therefore, became the capital of the Trás-os-Montes, seat of the
bishopric (that included the residence of the bishop, canons and
ecclesiastical authorities), military governorship and civil
In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, the army of Charles III of Spain
invaded the Trás-os-Montes. During the course of his invasion, the
gunpowder magazine (with over 500 barrels of powder) was hit by a
cannon, destroying the four towers of the castle and many of the
barrios in the vicinity. Approximately a third of the city's
population (about 400 residents) were killed, resulting in the ruin of
the religious, demographic and urbanized portion of Miranda. It
was almost two years later (1764) that friar Aleixo Miranda Henriques
(then the twenty-third bishop) would abandon Miranda, moving to
Bragança, which had become a rival episcopal seat in the northeast
part of Portugal. By 1680, it was the only ecclesiastical seat in
The area was served by a narrow gauge railway, the
Sabor line (Linha
do Sabor), which ran over 100 km between Duas Igrejas-Miranda and the
southern terminus at Pocinho, where connections could be made to the
main line to Oporto. The
Sabor line closed in 1988.
Douro is located in a region that skirts the border between
the Portuguese Trás-os-Montes region, and the Spanish autonomous
community of Castile and León. The relief in this region is
influenced by hard quartzite deposits near the border region, making
erosion difficult, resulting in high escarpments and cliffs. The soils
are composed of schists and granite bedrocks.
Parque Natural do
The Parque Natural do
Douro Internacional (English: Douro
International Nature Park), which encompasses the municipalities of
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo Municipality, Freixo de Espada à Cinta,
Douro and Mogadouro, includes an area of 85,150 hectares
(328.8 sq mi), along the border portion of the
It was created on 11 May 1998 to encompass the constituent territories
that encompass the Rivers
Douro and Águeda, along the Spain-Portugal
border that include similar geological and climatic conditions, and to
help support flora and fauna in the region, while allowing appropriate
human activities. The creation of the complementary Parque Natural de
Arribes in Spain, allowed the systematic protection of an area that
encompassed the larger ecosystem and biome.
Douro has a Mediterranean climate with continental
influences. Due to its location in the Nordeste Transmontano, the area
experiences extreme weather fluctuations. It is common for locals to
refer to the climate in this region in these terms: Em Miranda há
nove meses de Inverno e três de Inferno ("In Miranda there are nine
months of winter and three months of Hell"). The summer tends to be
dry and warm, while the winters are rigorously cold with frequent
snowfalls. Winters in Miranda are cold and have minimum
temperatures hovering around 0°C (with 30-day consecutive cold
temperatures that oscillate around 0°C), frequently falling negative.
The summer is completely opposite: hot and dry with maximum
temperatures hovering around 32°C.
Miranda do Douro
(1801 - 2011)
Administratively, the municipality is divided into 13 civil parishes
Constantim e Cicouro
Duas Igrejas (Mirandese: Dues Eigreijas)
Genísio (Mirandese: Zenízio)
Ifanes e Paradela
Douro (Mirandese: Miranda de l Douro)
Palaçoulo (Mirandese: Palaçuolo)
Picote (Mirandese: Picuote)
Póvoa (Mirandese: Pruoba)
São Martinho de Angueira (Mirandese: San Martino)
Sendim e Atenor
Silva e Águas Vivas
Vila Chã de Braciosa
Vila Chã de Braciosa (Mirandese: Bila Chana de Barceosa)
Twin towns — Sister cities
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Portugal
Douro is twinned with:
Aranda de Duero, Autonomous Community of Castile and León, Spain
Bimenes, Principality of Asturias, Spain
The municipal seat and principal town of the municipality of Miranda
The city has been isolated from the rest of the country for many
centuries, so the ancestral way of life is still vivid in the
traditions and even in the language (see below). Apart from the
distance, the weather conditions are also an adversary, as it is very
cold and snowy in winter, and very dry and hot in summer.
Gastronomy is one of the local hallmarks, well within the tradition of
Trás-os Montes. "Posta à Mirandesa", a heavy, thick steak, is the
traditional dish, known and imitated through the rest of the country.
The wine from the region has a high alcoholic graduation (17–18°)
and matches the regional cuisine well.
"Museu da Terra de Miranda" (museum of the lands of Miranda)
The city's old quarter, with the cathedral, dates back to the Middle
Ages. Most houses are small and one story high. Inside the old city
proper lie the town hall and museum, the "Museu da Terra de Miranda"
(museum of the lands of Miranda), which has displays of archaeological
findings, farm life, local clothing, and traditional masks.
The city has no industries but depends on commercial activity, mainly
the sale of house textiles and cutlery from the village of Palaçoulo.
Spaniards come in great number on holidays and weekends. There are
several hotels, among them the Pousada de Santa Catarina, which
Sign outside the Cathedral of Miranda do
Douro in the Mirandese
Main article: Mirandese language
The surrounding area is home to the speakers of Mirandese (Mirandês),
a language of the Astur-Leonese family, related to Asturian and
Leonese. Mirandese was recognised in 1999 by the Portuguese state
as co-official with Portuguese for local matters, and an estimate of
between 10,000 and 15,000 people speak the language.
Leonel Vieira (c.1969), a film director, who apart from various films
in the late 20th and early 21st century, also filmed the video Rosa
Branca for fadist Mariza.
Kingdom of León
Planalto Mirandes IPR
Terra de Miranda
^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
^ Direção-Geral do Território[permanent dead link]
^ "Atlas de Portugal". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06.
^ a b c d e Evans, David J.J. (2004), Portugal, Wimbledon, England:
Cadogan Guides/New Holland Publishers, p. 132
^ a b c d e f g h Câmara Municipal, ed. (2008). "O Concelho:
Historia" (in Portuguese). Miranda do Douro, Portugal: Câmara
Municipal de Miranda do Douro. Archived from the original on 21 May
2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
^ a b Câmara Municipal, ed. (2008). "O Concelho" (in Portuguese).
Miranda do Douro, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de Miranda do Douro.
Archived from the original on 23 June 2009. Retrieved 10 May
^ Câmara Municipal, ed. (2008). "O Concelho: Clima" (in Portuguese).
Miranda do Douro, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de Miranda do Douro.
Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May
^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, pages 552 71-72" (pdf)
(in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 July 2014.
^ a b Câmara Municipal, ed. (2008). "O Concelho: Cidades Geminadas"
(in Portuguese). Miranda do Douro, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de
Miranda do Douro. Archived from the original on 23 June 2009.
Retrieved 10 May 2011.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved
Media related to Miranda do
Douro at Wikimedia Commons
City government official website
Photos from Miranda do Douro
Pauliteiros de Miranda Mirandese culture (in Portuguese)
Municipalities of Bragança District
Alfândega da Fé
Carrazeda de Ansiães
Freixo de Espada à Cinta
Macedo de Cavaleiros
Miranda do Douro
Torre de Moncorvo