Póvoa de Varzim

Source: cm-pvarzim.pt

Flat and Atlantic city, 15 meters above sea level, occupies an area of about 250 hectares of rectangular configuration.

The municipality counts on about 60,000 inhabitants, has an area of 87.64 Km2 and is formed by 12 localities distributed by 7 freguesias: Union of the Freguesias of Aguçadoura and Navais; Union of the Parishes of Aver-o-Mar, Amorim e Terroso; Balasar; Stele; Laúndos; Union of the Parishes of Póvoa de Varzim, Beiriz and Argivai; and Rates.

Embedded on the seashore, there are virtually no boundaries around the city. The town, enjoying the vast space that the ocean provides to the west, also benefits from its location on the wide coastal plain, which stretches north and south, and the view is only barred by the barrier formed by the Rates Range, 7 km to the northeast.

City Hall

Occupying a relatively small area, the municipality of Póvoa knows a diversity of very interesting geographical conditions.

In times very retreated, the waters of the sea shaped a plain that, to the north of the city of Póvoa, is occupied by the localities of Aver-o-Mar, Aguçadoura, Navais and Estela. This ancient maritime platform has left us a sandy soil where, with ingenuity and effort, the people dedicate themselves to horticulture and, unable to resist the appeal and blessings of the sea, leave in small boats for a coastal fishing that complements the sustenance. To the ocean they also remove the natural fertilizer (the sargaço) that so effectively fertilizes the fields.

Artur Pastor, Póvoa de Varzim, pick up of the sargasso. 50's.





Field of "Masseira". Source: Junta de Freguesia da Estela.

It is also in these parishes that you can observe the famous fields of "masseira".

These, buried in the sand, recall the shape of the traditional "masseiras" and correspond to an intelligent way of exploiting the dunes where, in small farms, practicing an intensive culture, they obtain excellent horticultural productions. With a very shallow water table, the dune was excavated almost to this water table, which allows a constant degree of humidity. With the lowering of the area of cultivation is achieved a protection of the maritime winds, reinforced by hedges at the top of the valves, resulting in a thermal increase. These two allied factors (humidity and temperature) make the fields work as a kind of greenhouse.






The Serra de Rates divides the county into two distinct geomorphological areas. In the central belt of the municipality (always with the sea in the near horizon), in a "corridor" that includes the localities of Argivai, Beiriz, Amorim, Terroso and Laúndos we find a zone of transition between the sandy beach plain and the most heavy and wavy interior.

Exceeding the mountain range, in the innermost towns of the county, Balasar and Rates, the soil presents a greater forest cover and the small farms, while maintaining the small size, are surrounded by vines. Corn, potato and forage crops are particularly important. But here too there is the mark of the ocean - Rates owes its name to the boats that made the crossing of a language of sea that hitherto extended. One of the largest parishes, it is also located the Romanesque Church of S.Pedro de Rates, site of.

Romanesque Church of S.Pedro de Rates. Source: @vitorribeiro
Aerial view of fishing port and seafront.
Almada Square and Monument to Eça de Queirós (born in Póvoa de Varzim)

Owner of a turbulent sea and a mild climate although dominated by the famous "nortada" (very strong type of cold wind), Póvoa de Varzim is a crossroads of "a thousand paths".

It crosses roads that follow north to Ofir, Viana do Castelo and to the border of Valença; which shorten distances to the interior (Trofa, Santo Tirso, Braga, Guimarães, etc); or to the south, leading to the airport and the city of Porto. Since the second half of the 19th century, Póvoa de Varzim is sought after by the people of the interior for its beaches and the famous hot baths, nowadays disappeared, being always land associated with tourism.

Source of Texts: cm-pvarzim.pt

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Violoncelo - Ophélie Gaillard
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FIMPV 2018
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Festival Internacional de Música da Póvoa de Varzim
6 > 28 Jul 2018
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