Vizela, thermal land …
One of the youngest municipalities of Portugal, Vizela, extends over an area of 24 km2, is composed of 7 parishes and welcoming community of about 24,000 inhabitants. In the north of Portugal, in the Ave Valley basin at the southern end of the province of Minho, forms the border with the Douro Litoral. It is just 8 km from the city of Guimarães, World Heritage, European Capital of Culture 2012, and access to the A4 motorway. Earth green by nature, the contrast between their flatter areas and some higher points, draw, in this county, a pleasant landscape. Knowing the roots of Vizela, or Caldas de Vizela, as it is also known, is traveling in time and from the discovery of an ancient story that has its beginnings long before the foundation of their own nationality. The various peoples who passed through this land, it was the Romans who left more marks. His most important legacy was the discovery of the precious medicinal properties of the thermal waters. These waters whose temperatures range between 15ºC and 65ºC, are hyperthermal, weakly mineralized, sulphurous, with sodium and fluoride, are indicated above for the treatment of chronic rheumatism, respiratory tract diseases and skin diseases. Recognition of Vizela as the “Queen of Portugal Baths”, makes, every year come to the city thousands of aquistas, here you can enjoy the benefits and properties of local waters.

A Centuries of Struggle
It was in Vizela river began the story of this new municipality.v2
With 40 km course, the river Vizela born in Cabeceiras saw, between the parishes of Aboim and Gontim, Fafe county and Braga. Flows into the left bank of the river Ave, near the village of São Miguel das Aves, Santo Tirso and the Port district.
Around the Vizela River, began to emerge the first populations, since their margins were very fertile and had a great agricultural capacity, with the cultivation of the fields, until the nineteenth century, about the only activity of these populations.
Vizela is integrated in the Valley of Vizela, which begins in the hills of Santa Catarina to the north. The South borders of the county Lousada by Carvelo saw.
It was in Vizela that started the whole economic and political activity in this region. The geographical conditions of the Vizela valley very early attracted the man. As the water abounded across the valley, the most relevant activities were agriculture and livestock.
The discovery of hot springs
The arrival of the Romans to the Iberian Peninsula, in the third century BC, brought great changes, particularly to the area of Vizela, completely transforming the habits, customs and ways of life of the people living there.
The great transformation wrought by the Romans in this region was the discovery of the thermal waters of Vizela, with unique capabilities in the treatment of certain diseases, including rheumatism and respiratory diseases.
Thus, the Romans built from the first century BC, a kind of spa complex, having appeared, around them, a whole village. It was here that people from different walks of passing leisure time and tried cures for their ailments. Vizela has become well known for its healing virtues of its many springs of water. Here, acorria people from all over Iberia.
Another work with the signing of the Roman people is the Vizela Bridge, known as “Old Bridge”, that withstood centuries of use, being classified as a national monument.
With the barbarian invasions in the fifth century, the Roman Empire collapsed completely, watching to the rise of Christianity, coming all populations.
After the Reconquista, they formed new settlements. In the year 607, the seventh century, there was a council for the division of the territory in bishoprics, appearing thus the first Portuguese parish, including, Oculis, ie Caldas de Vizela.

1361: Vizela was county
The policy changes have, from the middle of the eleventh century, the rise of Portucale, as the center of a vast area. The power was exercised from a center, which began as v6Guimarães. Vizela, as it was right next door, took advantage of that to grow and acquire a certain importance in the general context of the country’s governance.v6
The year 1361 was the first major moment in the history of Vizela, having reached this administrative independence and formed for the first time, own county. John was thus the first ruler of Vizela. However, the county had a short-lived: 47 years. It is thought that the reasons for extinction are linked to conflicts between municipal powers of Vizela and Minho convents of Guimarães and Roriz. Later this region was born a new municipality, this time based in Barrosas and grouped much of the current parishes of Vizela. Tagilde in the July 10, 1372, signed a significant agreement, the so-called pact Tagilde a treaty of alliance between Portugal and England. Between the fifteenth and eighteenth century, little happened in Vizela. After a period of dormancy, the spa reborn in the eighteenth century. In 1785, construction began on the site of Lameira, an indoor tent stem, which would be the first installations of Vizela Spa. As the turnout was huge in the following years, some tents were built in stone. In the nineteenth century, it was given royal permission for the construction of the baths, the current Company predecessors.
Current thermal facilities began to be built in the late nineteenth century (1870). In 1873, it founded the Company of Vizela baths, which still gives the region much private tourism characteristics that contributed preponderantly, for vizelense urbanism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The rebirth of the independence spirit With the creation of the Company of the Baths, the population grows, and with it reborn autonomic awareness of the population, which was weakened for centuries, giving rise during the nineteenth century, to revive the struggle for autonomy Vizela .
From 1822 to perform the first administrative changes, dividing the country into districts. Thirty years later, it was extinguished Barrosas the municipality, thus increasing the feeling of independence of the whole valley of Vizela. In 1852, Queen Maria II initiates a trip across the country, announcing his visit to Vizela. Despite the promise, this visit turned out to not be effected and vizelenses did not hide their dissatisfaction and revolt. It was from here that intensified the desirv2e for autonomy of vizelenses, the desire for an independent municipality of Guimarães. With the establishment of the Republic in 1910, Vizela cherished new hopes in their struggle and shortly afterwards sent a commission to Lisbon with the aim of presenting the reasons for such ancient claims. Thus, in 1914, Vizela proposed a municipal setting, with 26 parishes, most detached of Guimarães. Twelve years later, the same proposal already included only 17 parishes. At that time, Vizela lived moments of great economic force, and spa considered one of the best in the country, serving as a vital element of the entire region.
In the late nineteenth century, they lived in Vizela more than 5000 inhabitants. The textile industry, particularly the silk fabric, cotton and linen, was the main economic activity of Vizela. The mechanical industry, lumbering and bread-cake, the famous Bolinhol, were also developed. At the time, there were two casinos, which account for a major share of vizelense economy, and several hotels that served to support Vizela Spa. Economic development Vizela was in sight and the independence cries went up making their voices heard, louder and louder.

v8Lifting the Village
In 1929, Vizela is elevated to a town during the dictatorship of New pre-state. But the vizelenses were not satisfied and did not give up its struggle for the county’s creation. In 1964, he founded the MRCV – Movement for the Restoration of County Vizela, which was proposed to lead the struggle for the county’s creation. In the mid-twentieth century, there has been a certain decline of spa, contrasting with a strong industrial boom, particularly in the textile, footwear and construction. With the April 25, came the promise of a new law on municipalities and hopes of vizelenses increased. But, again, attempts have not succeeded. In the 80s, the events in parliament were injured. In 1982, the Monarchist People’s Party presented a proposal for the county’s creation, but this was rejected. In response, vizelenses boycotted the municipal elections of December of that year. In 1985, it approved the new framework law of the municipalities in which one of the clauses prevented the creation of new municipalities, prior to regionalization. However, Vizela never gave up fighting for their interests, which virv7iam being met in March 1998. But in 1997, Vizela yet suffered another disappointment when, once again, saw sinker its proposal and, at the same time approved the elevation of Fatima the city. Added to this, relations between Vizela and Guimarães were deteriorating because it was in the air that the Vizela municipality, sooner or later, would be created. In 1997, it presented a proposal for a People’s Party Law on the county’s creation which, again, was sinker. But this was the last disappointment of vizelenses.v7

Fight was worth it
In 1998, were on the agenda of the Assembly, three law projects Vizela lifting the county. More than six thousand vizelenses, who had moved to Lisbon, did the party, to Parliament the door. On 19 March, the law projects were approved and Vizela was finally elevated to city status, should it especially honorary citizen of the Municipality of Vizela, Manuel Campelos, the face and image of the struggle of all Vizelenses!









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