Vila Nova de Famalicão, Braga District, Norte Region, Portugal

History | The 1205's foral | The Municipality | Geography | Parishes | Economy

🇵🇹 Vila Nova de Famalicão is a Portuguese town, subdivided into 49 parishes (11 Unions of Parishes and 23 Parish Councils,). Inserted in the Braga District, in the North Region of Portugal and in the Sub-Region of Vale do Ave. Vila Nova was created in 1205 by the charter given by the King Sancho I. The municipality was created in 1835 as a detachment from Barcelos and was elevated to the category of “Vila” with the charter given by the Queen D. Maria II. In 1985, approved by National Assembly, Vila Nova de Famalicão was elevated to the category of "city".

Frequently known simply as Famalicão, the city is the southern gateway to the Minho province and the Spanish region of Galicia.  The municipality is bordered by Braga to the north, by Guimarães to the east, by Santo Tirso and Trofa to the south, by Vila do Conde and Póvoa de Varzim to the west and by Barcelos to the northwest. Due to its privileged location, Famalicão is currently served by a network of modern roads, with one of the most important motorway junctions of the country – A3 (Porto – Vigo) and A7 (Guimarães – Póvoa de Varzim), as well as a train service with direct connections to Braga, Guimarães, Porto, Vigo, Coimbra, Lisbon and Algarve.

Because of this strategic position, Famalicão is one of the main cultural, commercial and industrial centres of the country. The strength of its diverse industry and socio-economic dynamics are prominent features at national and international level. Vila Nova de Famalicão hosts the headquarters of some of the largest and best companies in the country in various industry sectors, with its maximum strength in the textile and clothing, automotive, agrofood and metal-mechanics sectors, giving it the 3rd place in the most exporting municipalities of the country and one of the major industrial economies in the North.

Land of the writer Camilo Castelo Branco, whose house-museum is part of a network of 13 museums, which includes the Portuguese Centre of Surrealism, the National Railway Museum – Lousado Museum Centre, and the Textile Industry Museum – Ave Basin.

Vila Nova de Famalicão is a city to visit, for the dynamics of its sports associations; rural, religious and industrial tourism; festivities and celebrations, rich gastronomy; and cultural and industrial heritage.



The historical remains on the origin of the settlement of this land, takes us to the Iron Age, more properly to archaeological remains of hillforts throughout the county.

Castro do Monte das Ermidas, perhaps founded in the 4th century BC, Castro de São Miguel-o-Anjo or Castro de Eiras, are some of the archaeological remains of remote settlements that the county has. The Pedra Formosa do Castro de Eiras, which belonged to a bathing complex, was discovered in 1880 and, according to archaeologists, it dates from the first millennium before Christ.


The 1205's foral

D. Sancho I was forever remembered as the settler, king who sponsored the creation of settlements throughout the country, with a view to making Portugal a strong and dispersed kingdom, thus populating remote areas of the kingdom.

On 1 July 1205 King D. Sancho I of Portugal, who had a reguengo (land that belonged to the King) in Vila Nova, created a foral to 40 inhabitants of that land, giving authorization for them to deal with his reguengo, on which all the profits that the 40 settlers obtained in that piece of land would be perpetually theirs, by hereditary right, and could sell to whomever they wanted. Thus, the history of the village began from that moment.

In that same foral, the king orders the village to hold a biweekly fair, a tradition that still happens weekly.


The Municipality

Vila de Famalicão, as the head of the Judge of Vermoim, began to appreciate over the years, and so much so that in 1706 it counted 100 natural inhabitants of the land. Showing his yearnings for better progress, in 1734 and 1735, he insisted with Barcelos, asking for benefits, as to signifying the care of new progressive intentions. Continuing to boil interest in local development. In 1825, he decidedly asked Vila de Barcelos to create his own municipality, which he was unable to obtain.

Finally, ten years later and with the creation of the new Judicial Division of the Kingdom of Portugal on 21 March 1835, the municipality of Vila Nova de Famalicão was formed by the order of Queen D. Maria II.


Geography Vila Nova de Famalicão is located in the province of Minho, in the district and archdiocese of Braga, is the seat of the municipality and county, and is on flat ground at an altitude of 88 meters.

Famalicão is a tourist destination in Northern Portugal, enjoying a strategic location with fast links to the cities of Braga, Porto, Guimarães, Viana do Castelo, Barcelos, Santo Tirso and Vigo.

The city is 30 minutes from the international airport Francisco Sá Carneiro and the Leixões maritime port, crossed by highways, national roads and railways that unite the main urban centres of the North of Portugal and Europe.


Parishes Administratively, the municipality is divided into 34 civil parishes (freguesias): • Antas e Abade de Vermoim • Arnoso (Santa Maria e Santa Eulália) e Sezures • Avidos e Lagoa • Bairro • Brufe • Carreira e Bente • Castelões • Cruz • Delães • Esmeriz e Cabeçudos • Fradelos • Gavião • Gondifelos, Cavalões e Outiz • Joane • Landim • Lemenhe, Mouquim e Jesufrei • Louro • Lousado • Mogege • Nine • Pedome • Pousada de Saramagos • Requião • Riba de Ave • Ribeirão • Ruivães e Novais • Santa Maria de Oliveira • São Martinho do Vale • São Mateus de Oliveira • Seide • Vale (São Cosme), Telhado e Portela • Vermoim • Vila Nova de Famalicão e Calendário • Vilarinho das Cambas.


Economy The economy of the municipality is mainly based on textile, automotive, metal-mechanic and agrofood industries, hosting the headquarters or branches of some large companies, such as Continental Mabor, Leica, Riopele, Vieira de Castro, and Primor.

Aerial view of Braga from Monte Picoto, Portugal 
Aerial view of Braga from Monte Picoto, Portugal
Image: Adobe Stock dudlajzov #307610076

Vila Nova de Famalicão has a population of over 133,048 people. Vila Nova de Famalicão also forms one of the centres of the wider Braga District which has a population of over 831,366 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Vila Nova de Famalicão see: Twitter:

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Vila Nova de Famalicão has links with:

🇪🇸 Arteixo, Spain 🇧🇷 Caruaru, Brazil 🇫🇷 Givors, France 🇸🇹 Guadalupe, São Tomé and Príncipe 🇲🇿 Mocuba, Mozambique 🇫🇷 Saint-Fargeau-Ponthierry, France 🇧🇷 São Vicente, Brazil
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Vila Nova de Famalicão is: 171.483,-41.4

Locations Near: Vila Nova de Famalicão -8.51667,41.4

🇵🇹 Trofa -8.55,41.35 d: 6.2  

🇵🇹 Barcelos -8.617,41.517 d: 15.4  

🇵🇹 Paços de Ferreira -8.4,41.267 d: 17.7  

🇵🇹 Braga -8.417,41.55 d: 18.6  

🇵🇹 Maia -8.617,41.233 d: 20.3  

🇵🇹 Valongo -8.5,41.183 d: 24.1  

🇵🇹 Vila do Conde -8.733,41.35 d: 18.9  

🇵🇹 Guimarães -8.3,41.45 d: 18.9  

🇵🇹 Rio Tinto -8.56,41.178 d: 24.9  

🇵🇹 Póvoa de Varzim -8.75,41.367 d: 19.8  

Antipodal to: Vila Nova de Famalicão 171.483,-41.4

🇳🇿 Richmond 173.183,-41.333 d: 19873.1  

🇳🇿 Nelson 173.284,-41.269 d: 19864  

🇳🇿 Canterbury 171.58,-43.543 d: 19776.7  

🇳🇿 Christchurch 172.617,-43.517 d: 19762  

🇳🇿 Wellington 174.767,-41.283 d: 19740.7  

🇳🇿 Porirua 174.84,-41.131 d: 19733  

🇳🇿 Hutt 174.917,-41.217 d: 19727.6  

🇳🇿 Lower Hutt 174.917,-41.217 d: 19727.6  

🇳🇿 Stratford 174.283,-39.333 d: 19684.9  

🇳🇿 Upper Hutt 175.05,-41.133 d: 19715.5  

Bing Map

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