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Historical overview of Vila Nova de Gaia

The occupation of the territory now known as the City of Vila Nova de Gaia is actually very old.

There are known traces of various Castro occupations, as in the neighbouring city of Porto, and later it was occupied by the Romans, Moors, Suevi, etc., who over many hundreds of years left traces of intense commercial activity here, that the Douro River provided.

The Romans called it “Calle” (or “Galle”), and this place name associated with the place name that designated Porto (“Portus”, which would designate the port of deep and difficult waters), came to give the name of Portugal, and In fact, this is where it all started…

Since the most remote times Gaia and Porto, developed, via their river, an intense commercial activity, that internal, or taking advantage of the sea, there so close, the commercial exchanges with other more distant lands.

Vila Nova de Gaia History

View of the Parish of Santa Marinha, in Vila Nova de Gaia, in the mid-19th century. XIX, where the agricultural lands of the various farms are visible at the top of the slope.

City, which was taken by the Moors, in the century. In the 17th century, the Al-Boazar Castle was built here, which is inextricably linked to the legend of King Ramiro de Leão Gaia and Vila Nova, were once two separate places, which over time were humanized and filled with population clusters, bringing them closer together. territorially in the City that today is designated by the agglutination of these two villages: Vila Nova de Gaia.

By the royal charter of 1255, King Afonso III, turned this place into an authentic royal entrepot, where its pier allowed the export of goods to various ports in Europe.

King D. Dinis, in 1288, confirmed the charter assigned, given the growing importance of Gaia.

While Porto became the “City of the Bishop”, by the offer of D. Teresa, to Bishop D. Hugo, Gaia, became autonomous in commercial terms, Separated from its twin city, the City of Porto, by tens of meters, there was also a need to create bridges here, which over the years were built, counting today with 6 bridges that unite the two cities:

• Arrábida;
• Luiz I;
•Maria Pia (currently unused railway bridge built by Gustav Eiffell);
•Infante D. Henrique;
•S. João (railway bridge);
• ash

Situated on the slope of the left bank of the Douro River, Vila Nova de Gaia, as the City of Porto grew in population, became the producer of food products that supplied it, so it is not surprising that it was filled with agricultural farms. , which over the years fed the increasingly populous City of Porto.

Currently, however, the City of Vila Nova de Gaia, expanding as a large housing complex, without forgetting its roots, is also a large industrial area and is mainly known for the cellars of the famous “Port Wine”, where all companies (almost all of them centuries old) age their wines, making them known all over the world, where they are exported, and which are well worth a visit, for everyone who travels to Porto, or in particular to Vila Nova from Gaia.

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