PINHEL (Portuguese pronunciation: ) is a municipality , former
Catholic bishopric and present Latin titular see in the central
Beira Interior Norte , in Portugal. The municipality
population in 2011 was 9,627, in an area of 484.52 km². The urban
* 1 History
* 2 Ecclesiastical History
* 3 Geography * 4 Architecture * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Sources and external links
The origins of this municipality date back to the Calcolithic period, as many of the remnants of ancient cultures from this period remain: namely the rock-art engravings and paintings that line the Côa valley in Cidadelhe. Part of the historic district of Guarda , the region obtained its name for many pine forests that covered the region's hills and mountains.
There are also several references to a pre-Roman or Roman presence, suggesting a continuace occupency since this period.
During the medieval period, owing to the defensive requirements of
the flegdling nation, several fortified centres developed, including
the Pinhel, but also along a line that included: Trancoso, Marialva,
Guarda, Castelo Rodrigo, Almeida and Castelo Mendo. The Castle of
The historical centre, with its narrow roadways, were adapted from
the morphology of the terrain, with many patrimonial references to the
medieval and modern eras. The homes of the city of Pinhel, some dating
from the 16th century, includes some lost references to the presence
of a Jewish population at one time, such as along the Rua de Santa
The 17th and 18th century were periods of growth for the region, dominated the construction of estates, scattered in many of the historic corners of the municipality, some monumental and decorative.
The urbanized area of Pinhel, the city of Pinhel, was elevated to this status in 1770.
In 1770.08.25 a bishopric was established as Diocese of
It was suppressed on 1881.09.30, its territory being merged into the Diocese of Guarda .
RESIDENTIAL BISHOPS OF PINHEL
* João Rafael de Mendonça (1771.06.17 – 1771.07.29), next Bishop
Roman Catholic Diocese of Porto
In 1969 the diocese was nominally restored as Latin Titular bishopric
It has had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) order :
* Thomas Kiely Gorman (1969.08.22 – resigned 1971.01.21) on
emeritate, formerly Bishop of Reno (USA) (1931.04.24 – 1952.02.08),
Titular Bishop of Rhasus (1952.02.08 – 1954.08.29) as Coadjutor
Bishop of Dallas–Fort Worth (Texas, USA) (1952.02.08 –
1954.08.29), succeeding as last Bishop of Dallas–Fort Worth
(1954.08.29 – 1969.08.09), restyled 'first' Bishop of Dallas (USA)
(1969.08.09 – 1969.08.22); died 1980
* Mervyn Alban Alexander (1972.03.08 – 1974.12.20) as Auxiliary
Bishop of Diocese of Clifton (England, UK) (1972.03.08 –
1974.12.20), succeeding as Bishop of Clifton (1974.12.20 – retired
2001.02.27); died 2010
* Hugo Mark Gerbermann,
Maryknoll Fathers (M.M.) (1975.07.22 –
death 1996.10.19) as
Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of San Antonio
(USA) (1975.07.22 – 1982.06.30) and on emeritate; previously Titular
Amathus in Palæstina (1962.06.06 – 1967.12.23) as only
The municipality of
The municipality is accessed by a rail-line, the Vila Franca das
Naves line for 12 kilometres (7.5 mi), by the A25 roadway (connecting
The northern part of the municipality is part of the Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of the Côa Valley , an archaeological and geological park known for its inscribed rock formations, created by primitive cultures along the Côa valley. This area, along with Foz Coa has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for these primitive engravings.