History of Lamego Portugal

Lamego is a municipality and city that is situated in the district of Viseu, Northern Portugal. The city is located on the shores of River Balsemao. The Turduli and Ligures previously inhabited the area around Lamego. The Coelerni occupied this area during the era of Roman and left behind a couple of beautiful monuments. It is most probable that a Castro previously existed on this site because of the placement of the castle.

Lamego was an essential center even in the era of the Visigoths. It has boasted a cathedral as from the sixth century. Around the 8th century, the city was captured by the Moors and remained in their hands till the eleventh century. The first Portugal’s parliament (Cortes) was convened in this city in 1143 to affirm Afonso Henriques as the first king of Portugal. This little town grew more prominent and more significant due to its strategic position on the trading routes between the Beiras and Douro. The town’s fantastic wine also contributed to its growth, and this was hugely realized around the sixteenth century.

Lamego’s first Gothic cathedral was constructed by King Afonso Henriques; however, the only thing left from the original structure is the tower of Romanesque alongside its fine cloister and carved Renaissance portal that dates back to the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The twelfth-century castle maintains a fine keep and a very special and old cistern that incorporates monograms of master masons.

In 1191, King Sancho I gave a charter of independence, as the local people grew around two poles; Castelo and the ecclesiastical parishes of Se. It was not until 1920 when King Denis offered a market charter to this city to attract more merchants from Granada and Castile with their textiles and oriental spices.

Lamego had an advantaged position on the routes from western Iberia, as a passage point within the settlements of Braga, Guimaraes, Alem Douro, from Merida and Alcantara to Seville and Cordoba. Due to this, it was among the best-preferred paths on the Saint James Way pilgrimage to the city of Santiago de Compostela. However, two events forever changed the social and economic circumstances in this region; the downfall of Granada that throng the last of the Moors from the Peninsula; secondly, the discovery of the maritime connection to India as it led to a slow decline for this location.

In 1514, Manuel I of Portugal gave a foral. Also in the sixteenth century, Manuel de Noronha who was regarded as one of the most notable prelates of Lamego was selected as the Bishop of Lamego. He occupied this role for almost two decades (18 years) and was known by the locals as the ‘great builder’ as he was solely responsible for the cult of Our Lady of Remedies (Nossa Senhora dos Remedios).

The country estates (the solares) were slowly set up in Lamego around the seventieth and eighteenth century, and this led to the wine commerce down the Douro. Additionally, the economic growth of viticulture alongside the Douro led to the issuance of a writ by the first Marquis of Pombal, Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo. Around 1835, Lamego was the capital city of the district, but this title was lost to Viseu in December 1835. However, Lamego became the capital again for twenty-four days in a bid to regain monarchy. Lastly, after 19th century with the leadership of president Viscount of Guedes Teixeira, the town was modernized with new avenues built.

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