Póvoa de Varzim

Póvoa de Varzim


Culture and contemporary life

Junqueira is Póvoa de Varzim's busiest and most traditional shopping district, the main street opened in the 18th century and is a pedestrian area since 1955. Currently, it has about 1 km (or 0.62 mi) of pedestrian streets. Dotted with Boutiques and 19th century and early 20th century buildings, Junqueira is renowned for its jewellery,"Ourivesaria Gomes" is one of finnest and historic goldsmith in Portugal. [cite web | title= BCP entra na ourivesaria | url= http://aeiou.primeirasedicoes.expresso.pt/ed1450/e051.asp | accessmonthday=October 3 | accessyear=2008 | publisher = Expresso |language=Portuguese|]

Póvoa de Varzim's waterfront is a beach and nighlife area popular with tourists and locals alike. Avenida dos Banhos, that runs along Redonda and Salgueira beaches, is an iconic avenue in the city, with nightclubs, bars, and esplanades along the way. Passeio Alegre is a beach square filled with esplanades and nearby Caetano de Oliveira Square, to the north, is a small but vibrant square, with several bars where younger "Poveiros" meet, before going on to the nightclubs, very late at night. Lota is a recreation area in front of the Casino and within the seaport.

Restaurants specialized in Portuguese barbecued chicken, seafood, francesinha, bacalhau, even striptease, can be found along the Estrada Nacional 13 road. Póvoa de Varzim has varied hotels, the most historic of which are the "Grande Hotel da Póvoa", an Accor hotel, which is a conspicuous modernist built in the 1930s, and, by its side, the "Hotel Luso-Brasileiro" (19th century), the oldest hotel that is still running. São Félix Hill ("Monte São Félix"), with panoramic views over the city and the countryside has the Senhora da Saúde Chuch in the hillfoot and São Félix church in the hilltop. São Félix possesses not only a hotel, but windmills converted into tourist accommodation, the hilltop is reached, by foot, using the São Félix stairs.

Entertainment and performing arts

Casino da Póvoa is a central gaming and entertainment location in the North since the 1930s, where gaming and shows take place throughout the year. In 2006, it was the second casino in revenues, with 54 million euros and the third most popular with 1.2 million costumers. [cite web | title= PORTUGAL: Casinos portugueses facturaram 400 milhões em 2006 | url= http://www.profissionaisdoscasinos.org/noticia.php?id=1894&sec=10 | accessmonthday=June 18 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Profissionais dos Casinos|language=Portuguese|] But in the 19th century, Póvoa was already popular for gambling as it had several gambling venues, such as Salão Chinês, Café Suisso, Café David, Café Universal and Luso-Brasileiro. The Salão Chinês (Chinese Saloon), popularly known as "Café Chinês", was the most carismatic and famous due to its fancy decoration and by having some of best dancing girls of the Iberian Peninsula.

Póvoa's theatrical tradition, started with Teatro Garret (1873), Teatro Sá da Bandeira (1876), and Cine-Teatro Garrett (1890), today's most important performing arts venue is the Auditório Municipal, created in early 21st century and is where the local school of music and the Octopus Film club with exhibitions of quality cinema coexist. The 19th century Garrett Teathre, now a public venue, will reopen after important structural reforms in 2010. The "Varazim Teatro" is a cultural and youth group of amateur theatre that has encouraged local drama and the "Filantrópica", created in 1935, has as its purpose the execution of cultural activities and inducement to artistic creation. [cite web | title= Cooperativa "A Filantrópica" | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/municipio/associacoes/associacoes-do-concelho-1/povoa-de-varzim/cooperativa-a-filantropica | accessmonthday=July 9 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = CMPV |language=Portuguese|]

Some international meetings include the "É-Aqui-in-Ócio", a drama festival, the music video festival presentation known as "VIMUS", the "Músicas do Mar" world music festival, and the "Festival de Música", an erudite event established in 1978. [cite web | title= Confluências musicais no Festival da Póvoa | url= http://dn.sapo.pt/2007/05/02/artes/confluencias_musicais_festival_povoa.html | accessmonthday=June 30 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Diário de Notícias |language=Portuguese|]


The Ethnography and History Municipal Museum of Póvoa de Varzim (1937) on Rua Visconde de Azevedo houses archaeological finds and exhibits relating to the seafaring history of the city. it is one of the oldest ethnic museums in Portugal and from its collection, the "Siglas Poveiras" exhibit won the 1980 "European Museum of The Year Award". It also possesses sacred art from the early first church (século XVI), faïence collection (16th to the 19th century) and archaeological finds such as the Roman inscriptions of Beiriz. [cite web | title= Sobre o museu | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/povoa-cultural/museu-municipal/texto-sobre-o-museu | accessmonthday=June 13th | accessyear=2008 | publisher = CMPV |language=Portuguese ]

Two themed museums exist: the Museum Nucleus of the Romanesque Church of Saint Peter of Rates which is dedicated to the dissemination of the history, legend and art surrounding the Romanesque Church of Saint Peter of Rates, and the Archaeological Nucleus of Cividade de Terroso, which serves as a presentation of Cividade de Terroso. Another two themed small museums are due to open: "Casa do Pescador" (Fisherman home) and "Farol de Regufe" (Regufe lighthouse).

The "Ecomuseu de Rates" (8 km or 5 mi) is a green, historical and countryside route, with various stations starting on the "Praça" (the Square) with the "Senhor da Praça" baroque chapel, the Rates pillory and the old Rates township house, and going along primordial springs, wind and water mills, rustic ways and houses. [cite journal
last = Trocado Marques
first = Ana
title = Ecomuseu estende-se ao longo de oito quilómetros
journal = Jornal de Notícias
date = April 22, 2007
url = http://jn.sapo.pt/2007/04/22/porto/ecomuseu_estendeseao_longo_oito_quil.html|language=Portuguese

The "Arquivo Municipal" is the city's archive planned for those who are interested in tracing their own family pedigree chart or scrutinize the city's records. [cite web | title= Arquivo Municipal: fundo documental | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/povoa-cultural/arquivo-municipal/fundo-documental | accessmonthday=July 9 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = CMPV |language=Portuguese|]


"Diana Bar", currently the beach library, was a traditional writers meeting place since the 19th century, and was where José Régio passed his free time writing. [cite web | title= "O Ardina, o Livro Sonhado" apresentado no Diana Bar | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/groups/staff/conteudo/noticias/o-ardina-o-livro-sonhado-apresentado-no-diana-bar | accessmonthday=July 1 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = CMPV |language=Portuguese|] Other famous writers closely associated with the city are Almeida Garrett, Camilo Castelo Branco, António Nobre, and Agustina Bessa-Luís. Nevertheless, the city is often remembered as the birthplace of Eça de Queiroz, one of the main writers in the Portuguese language.

In modern times, the city gained international prominence with "Correntes d'Escritas", a literary festival where writers from the Portuguese and Spanish-speaking world gather in a variety of presentations and an annual award for best new release. [cite web | title= Debate e entrega de prémios encerra 7° Correntes d`Escritas | url= http://rtp1.rtp.pt/index.php?article=224197&visual=16 | accessmonthday=June 30 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = RTP |language=Portuguese|]


The city has developed a number of sporting venues and because of that it has hosted several national, European and world championships in different sports. 38% of the population practise sport, a high rate when compared to the national average.

The most popular sport in Póvoa de Varzim is the association football. The City Park's Stadium and synthetic fields for football practice and athletics are today the main stage for Póvoa de Varzim's People's championship where its 19 people's football clubs compete: Aguçadoura, Amorim, Argivai, Averomar, Balasar, Barreiros, Beiriz, Belém, Estela, Juve Norte, Laundos, Leões da Lapa, Mariadeira, Matriz, Navais, Rates, Regufe, Terroso, and Unidos ao Varzim. [cite web | title= Clubes | url= http://www.afpvarzim.pt/clubes.html | accessmonthday=October 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = Associação de Futebol Popular da Póvoa de Varzim|language=Portuguese|] Varzim SC is the professional football club of the city which plays in its own stadium near the beach; as of 2007, it played in the "Liga de Honra" (2nd level), but several times has reached the Portuguese Liga.

Swimming is the second most practised sport. The "International Meeting of Póvoa de Varzim", in long course pool, is part of the European winter calendar. [cite web | title= Cinco mínimos para o Europeu de Juniores | url= http://www.fpnatacao.com/artigo_detalhe.php?idArtigo=1357&idCategoria=5 | accessmonthday=January, 31 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Federação portuguesa de Natação|language=Portuguese|] The meeting occurs in the city pool complex belonging to "Varzim Lazer", a municipal company that also runs other sports venues found north of the city: the tennis academy, the bullfighting arena, and the municipal pavilion. The other complex is property of Clube Desportivo da Póvoa, a club that is notorious, in the city, because it competes in several sports: rink hockey, volleyball, basketball, auto racing, and athletics.

The "Grande Prémio de São Pedro" (Saint Peter Grand Prix), which occurs in the city's streets during the summer, is part of the national calendar of the Portuguese Athletics Federation. [cite web | title= Regulamento | url= http://www.gpspedro.atletas.net/percurso/ | accessmonthday=October 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = Atletas.net|language=Portuguese|] In 2007, the "Grande Prémio da Marginal" (Shoreline Grand Prix), an annual event between Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde, aiming for the funding of the National Association of Paramiloidosis, was established in a bid to increase ties between both cities, as these share a common urban area. [cite web | title= Vila do Conde e Póvoa de Varzim unidas pelo Atletismo | url= http://www.atletas.net/actualidade/reportagens?artigo=3792 | accessmonthday=May 21 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Atletas.net|language=Portuguese|] The Cego do Maio Half Marathon aims at the promotion of the city and the sport activity among the population. In Cycling it hosts the "Clássica da Primavera" (Spring Classic) in April. The "X BTT Cross Country Monte da Cividade" and the newly created "Grande Maratona Cidade da Póvoa de Varzim" are the mountain bike activities occurring in the municipality.

The marina, near the seaport, offers several sea sport activities developed by the local yacht club - the Clube Naval Povoense. Costa Verde Trophy, linking Póvoa and Viana do Castelo, is one of the regattas organized by the club and "Rally Portugal" yacht racing is a sailing and sightseeing event along the west Iberian coast. [cite web | title= Rally Portugal - sailing and sightseeing | url= http://www.sail-world.com/uk/index.cfm?nid=34665&rid=3 | accessmonthday=June, 17 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Sail World] Near São Félix Hill, the São Pedro de Rates shooting camp is considered one of the best in Portugal and in Europe, with great prestige among nationals. There is also a links golf course and a greyhound racing track in Estela. The most important run in the local bullring is a Portuguese-style bullfighting known as "Grande Corrida TV Norte" (TV's Great Run - North) in late July. A harmless, traditional and fun bullfight, known as "Garraida", with young bulls and students, occurs in early May as part of Porto's student festivities - the "Queima das Fitas".


"O Comércio da Póvoa de Varzim" (est. 1903), "A Voz da Póvoa" (est. 1938), and "Póvoa Semanário", which appeared during the 1990s, are Póvoa de Varzim's major weekly newspapers; while the "Gazeta da Póvoa de Varzim" (1870-1874) was the first local newspaper. "A Voz da Póvoa" and "Póvoa Semanário" compete between themselves and are devoted, exclusively, to local news and have Internet editions.

The local radio stations Rádio Mar (89.0) and Radio Onda Viva (96.1) broadcast on FM and online. The stations daily programming include local news and sports and feature an in-depth look at the city's top story by interviewing a guest at lunchtime on weekends. Radio Onda Viva airs Mandarin Chinese programming at a daily basis for the local Chinese community. The radio station "Rádio Mar" and the newspaper "Póvoa Semanário" belong to the same group; the same company offer news services to the neighbouring cities of Vila do Conde and Esposende.


People in Póvoa de Varzim observe a variety of holidays and festivals each year. The major celebration is Saint Peter's day, the fisherman saint. The neighbourhoods are decorated; and, on the night of 28th to 29th the population gets together in celebration, dancing and eating by the light of fires. The traditional neighbourhoods compete in the "rusgas" (a sort of carnival) and the creation of thrones to Saint Peter. [cite web | title= Conhecer a Póvoa: Festas populares e religiosas — São Pedro | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/turismo/conhecer-a-povoa/festas-populares-e-religiosas/s-pedro/ | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese|] During the festivities, the population behaves much like football supporters, and occasionally there are disturbances when fans defend their preferred district; but the competition is usually very healthy. Families, having previously emigrated to the United States and beyond, have been known to come back to Póvoa, time and again, simply to relish the spectacular feelings of excitement and community present at this festival.

Easter Monday is considered to be the second "municipal holiday". The populace works on Good Friday (national holiday) to have Monday free to picnic (Anjo festival). The local companies follow this tradition and are open on Friday and closed on Monday.

On August 15 there is the Feast of the Assumption, one of the largest of this kind in Portugal, the pinnacle of the procession occurs in front of the seaport, where fireworks are launched from carefully arranged boats. [cite web | title= Conhecer a Póvoa: Festas populares e religiosas — Nossa Senhora da Assunção | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/turismo/conhecer-a-povoa/festas-populares-e-religiosas/nossa-senhora-da-assuncao | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese|] In the last fortnight of September, during the Senhora das Dores festival, there is the century-old Senhora das Dores Pottery Fair, with many tents, installed in the square near the Senhora das Dores Church, which sell diverse wares of traditional Portuguese pottery. [cite web | title= Conhecer a Póvoa: Festas populares e religiosas — Nossa Senhora das Dores | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/turismo/conhecer-a-povoa/festas-populares-e-religiosas/nossa-senhora-das-dores | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese|]

São Félix Hill is a reference point for fishermen at sea. On the last Sunday of May, the Pilgrimage of "Nossa Senhora da Saúde" (Our Lady of Health) covers a distance of 7 km (4.25 mi) between the Matriz Church and the Nossa Senhora da Saúde Chapel, at the foot of São Félix. In Cape Santo André there is a rocky formation known as "Penedo do Santo" or Saint's Rock, which has a mark that the "Poveiro" fishermen believe to be a footprint of Saint Andrew ("Santo André"). They still believe that this saint is the "Boatman of Souls" and that he frees the souls of those who drown in the sea, fishing them from the depths of the ocean after a shipwreck. The celebration of Saint Andrew occurs on the dawn of the last day of November, when groups of men and women, wearing black hoods and holding lamps, go to the chapel via the beach.


"Poveiro" culture is the result of what is found in the Minho Region influenced by the local fishery habits, protected and shaped by local factors over the course of generations. The docudrama film "Ala-Arriba!" by José Leitão de Barros, popularized this unique Portuguese fishing community within the country during the 1940s. The local expression "ala-arriba" means "go (upwards)" and it represents the co-operation between the inhabitants.cite web | title= Ala-Arriba! (1942) | url= http://www.rascunho.net/critica.asp?id=735 | accessmonthday=July 4 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Rascunho|language=Portuguese|]

Siglas Poveiras are a form of proto-writing system, with a restricted number of symbols that were combined to form more complex symbols; these were used as a rudimentary visual communication system, and as a family coat of arms or signature to mark belongings. Merchants wrote them in their books of credit; fishermen used it in religious rituals by marking them in the door of Catholic chapels near hills or beaches; in the table of their town’s first church during marriage; and also had magical significance, such as the "São Selimão sigla" , that could be used as a protecting symbol and not as family mark.cite book|author=Lixa Filgueiras, Octávio|title=Àcêrca das Siglas Poveiras|publisher=IV Colóquio Portuense de Arqueologia|year=1965|language=Portuguese|] Children used the same family mark with "piques" as a form of cadency. The youngest son would not have any pique and would inherit the "marca-brasão", his father's symbol. [cite book|author=Santos Graça, António|title=Inscrições Tumulares Por Siglas|publisher=Author edition, Póvoa de Varzim|year=1942|language=Portuguese|] The "siglas" are still used, though much less commonly, by some families; and are, possibly, related with Viking traditions.

The "camisolas poveiras" are local pullovers, with fishing motifs and name embroidered in "sigla", made for celebration and decorative purposes. The pullovers were a local dress until 1892, when a misfortune at sea led the community to stop wearing it. It became popular again at the end of the 1970s. Today, there are efforts to modernize it on one hand and on the other there are endeavours to preserve the long-established practices. Other typical handicrafts are the internationally renowned "Tapetes de Beiriz" or Beiriz carpets, which are rustic carpets in which the carpet's pattern can be seen in the reverse side. [cite web | title= Tapetes de Beiriz | url= http://www.lifecooler.com/edicoes/lifecooler/desenvReg.asp?reg=296980&catbn=10 | accessmonthday=July 4 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Lifecooler|language=Portuguese|]

The "Lancha Poveira" is a boat that developed from the Drakkar Viking, but without a long stern and bow and with a Mediterranean sail. According to a tradition that persists to this day, the youngest son is the heir of the family, as in old Brittany and Denmark, because it was expected that he would take care of his parents when they became old. Women govern the family, because men were usually away from home fishing. [cite web | title= Turismo: Conhecer a Póvoa, Siglas Poveiras | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/turismo/conhecer-a-povoa/siglas-poveiras/ | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese|]

Formerly, the population was divided into different "castes": The "Lanchões" (those who possessed boats which were capable of deep-water fishing, therefore more prosperous), the "Rasqueiros" (the fisher "bourgeoisie" used "rasca" nets to fish rays, lobsters and crabs) and the "Sardinheiros" or "Fanequeiros" (those who possessed small boats and could only catch fish of smaller size along the shore) and, apart of them, the "Lavradores" (the farmers). As a rule, the groups remained distinct, and mixed marriages between them were forbidden, mostly because of the isolationism of the fishermen. [cite web | title= Traje Poveiro - Os Lanchões | url= http://garatujando.blogs.sapo.pt/arquivo/547533.html | accessmonthday=July 4 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Garatujando|language=Portuguese|]

The most traditional ingredients of the local cuisine are locally-grown vegetables and fish. The fish used in the traditional cuisine are divided in two categories, the "poor" fish (sardine, ray, mackerel, and others) and the "wealthy" fish (such as whiting, snook, and alfonsino). The most famous local dish is "Pescada à Poveira" ("Poveira" Whiting), whose main ingredients are, along with the fish that gives the name to the dish, potatoes, eggs and a boiled onion and tomato sauce. Other fishery dishes include the "Arroz de Sardinha" (sardine rice), "Caldeirada de Peixe" (fish stew), "Lulas Recheadas à Poveiro" ("Poveiro" stuffed squids), "Arroz de Marisco" (seafood rice) and "Lagosta Suada" (steamed lobster). Shellfish and boiled "iscas", "pataniscas", and "bolinhos de bacalhau" are popular snacks. Other dishes include "Feijoada Poveira", made with white beans and served with dry rice ("arroz seco"); and "Francesinha Poveira" made in long bread that first appeared in 1962 as fast food for holidaymakers. [cite journal
last = Afonso Pereira
first = Sílvia
title = As francesinhas à moda da Póvoa
journal = Diário de Notícias
date = June 6, 2006
url = http://dn.sapo.pt/2006/06/01/boa_vida/as_francesinhas_a_moda_povoa.html|language=Portuguese


A native of Póvoa de Varzim is called a "Poveiro". According to the 2001 Census, there were 63,470 inhabitants that year, 38 848 (61.2%) of whom lived in the city. The number goes up to 100,000 if adjacent satellite areas are taken into account, ranking it as the seventh largest independent urban area in Portugal, within a polycentric agglomeration of about 3 million people.Fernando Nunes da Silva (2005), PDFlink| [http://www.rave.pt/pdf/Mobilidade%20e%20Desenvolvimento%20Regional.pdf Alta Velocidade em Portugal, Desenvolvimento Regional] , CENSUR, IST] The population of the entire municipality grew only 1% between 1981 and 1991, then increased by 15.3% between 1991 and 2001. During that period, the urban population had grown 23%, with the number of families increasing considerably — by about 44.5%. The biggest immigrant communities are Ukrainians, Brazilians, Chinese, Russians, and Angolans. [cite journal
last = Teixeira Marques
first = Ângelo
title = Câmara da Póvoa cria gabinete da migração
journal = Público
date = February 14, 2007|language=Portuguese

The quality of live in the city and the infrastructure development such as the metro and a 15 minutes distance from Porto and Braga, prompted new residents originating from near-by cities such as Porto, Braga, Guimarães and Famalicão which lead to a real estate boom that may double the resident population in the medium term. [cite journal
last = Santos, Angélica
first = and Pinto, Miguel
title = Construção civil volta a disparar na cidade da Póvoa
journal = Póvoa Semanário
date = 18 de Abril, 2007|language=Portuguese

The urban area has a population density of 3035/km² (7,864/mi²), while the rural area has a density of 355.5/km² (920/mi²). The rural areas away from the city tend to be scarcely populated, becoming much denser near it. During the summer the resident population in the city triples; this seasonal movement from neighbouring cities is due to the draw of the beach and 29.9% of homes had seasonal use in 2001, the highest in Greater Porto. Póvoa de Varzim is the youngest city in Greater Porto with a birth rate of 13.665 and mortality rate of 8.330.INE (2005), "Grande Área Metropolitana do Porto — Porto Metropolitan Area", Lisbon]

Due to practice of endogamy and the caste system, Póvoa's fishing community maintained its local ethnic characteristics; at the beginning of 20th century, anthropologists had classified the local population as being a Semitic-Norman community, composed of descendants of Phoenicians and Vikings. In a research published in "O poveiro" in 1908, Fonseca Cardoso considered that a dolichocephalous anthropological element, the aquiline nose, was of Semitic-Phoenician origin. [cite book|author=Fonseca Cardoso|title=O Poveiro|publisher=Portugália, t. II. Porto|year=1908|language=Portuguese|] Anthropological and cultural data indicate Nordic fishermen settling during the period of the coast's resettlement. In the book "The Races of Europe", "Poveiros" were distinguished by having a slightly greater than usual degree of blondism, broad faces of unknown origin, and broad jaws. [cite book|author=Carleton Stevens Coon|title=The Races of Europe|pages=Chapter XI, section 15|year=1939] On the other hand, the man from the interior was a farmer with Galician character (typical northern Portuguese), shorter with dark hair. Other settlers were the Castro people (of mixed Celtic and pre-Celtic origin), the Romans, and the Suebi.

"Poveiros" have migrated to other places and this attenuated the population growth. One should notice that the "Poveiros" tended to create their own associations abroad, there are "Casa dos Poveiros" (Poveiros House) in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo), Germiston in South Africa and Toronto in Canada. In Rio de Janeiro, the community was known by not wanting other peoples of other origins, including Portuguese born in other towns, within their community. During the emigration period of the 20th century, many Poveiros emigrated in Brazil returned, as many refused to lose Portuguese nationality. [cite book|author=Lima Barreto|title= [http://virtualbooks.terra.com.br/freebook/port/download/Marginalia.pdf Marginália - A Questão dos "Poveiros"] |publisher=Virtual Books, Pará de Minas - MG|year=2000|language=Portuguese|] Due to fisher classes affairs, the fisher areas of Vila do Conde, Esposende and Matosinhos suffer from strong "Poveiro" cultural influence.

In a 2005 study published by the "Expresso", Póvoa de Varzim was considered the seventh most developed, in terms of quality of life, among the Portuguese municipalities and the most developed in Porto district. The newspaper "Primeiro de Janeiro" honoured Póvoa, on the same occasion, as the "city of future" in the Porto district, in fields such as environment, cultural heritage, music, sports, and literary events.


The economy of Póvoa de Varzim is driven by tourism (namely gambling, hotels and restaurants), manufacturing, construction, fishing, and agriculture. During the 2001 census, 1770 companies are headquartered in Póvoa de Varzim, of which 2.82% were of the primary sector, 33.73% of the secondary and 63.45% of the tertiary, including software companies operating nationally and abroad. Despite its weight in Greater Porto international trade is weak, in 2004 it represented 1.1% of departures and 0.9% of arrivals, its coverage rate of arrivals against departures suppressed the 100% mark. The activity rate had grown from 48% to 51.1% from 1991 to 2001, but there were 3353 citizens unemployed in June 2006. [cite journal
last = Silva
first = Hugo
title = Grande Porto tem metade do desemprego do Norte
journal = Jornal de Notícias
date = September 2, 2006
url = http://jn.sapo.pt/2006/09/02/porto/grande_porto_metade_desemprego_norte.html|language=Portuguese

Póvoa de Varzim has been noted internationally for its Renewable energy industry. The world's first commercial wave farm is located in its coast, [cite journal
last = Ford
first = Emily
title = Wave power scientist enthused by green energy
journal = Times online
date = July 8, 2008
url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/career_and_jobs/careers_in/careers_in_science/article4111684.ece
] at the Aguçadora Wave Park. The wave farm uses three Pelamis P-750 machines with a capacity of 2.25 megawatts, enough to meet the average electricity demand of more than 1,500 Portuguese households. [cite journal
title = Wave energy contract goes abroad
journal = BBC News
date = July 8, 2008
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4563077.stm
] In the first phase, the park will produce 2.25 megawatts, enough energy for 1500 homes. Energy self-sustainability is foreseen with the expansion of the wave park to 28 machines capable to produce 24 mW, supplying 250 thousand inhabitants, 10% of that energy, capable of supplying one third of the population of the municipality, will be assigned to the city. [cite journal
last = Trocado Marques
first = Ana
title = Ondas vão dar energia a um terço do concelho
journal = Jornal de Notícias
date = May 22, 2006
url = http://jn.sapo.pt/2006/05/22/porto/ondas_dar_energia_a_terco_concelho.html|language=Portuguese
] [cite web | title= Apresentação do Parque da Aguçadoura | url= http://www.oceanpd.com/pt/default.html | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = Ocean Power Delivery Portugal S.A. ] Energie, a company headquartered in Póvoa de Varzim, developed a thermodynamic solar system combining solar energy and a heat pump to generate energy even when it is night or overcast; the success of this technology internationally led the company to open in a large factory, that started operating in 2007. [cite journal
title = Energía solar de origen ibérico
journal = El Mundo
date = July 8, 2008
url = http://www2.elmundolibro.com/elmundo/2008/06/08/ciencia/1212942920.html|language=Spanish

The fact that it is a seaside city has shaped Póvoa de Varzim's economy: the fishing industry, from the fishing vessels that put in each day to the canning industry and to the city's fish market, beach agriculture, seaweed-gathering for fertilizing fields, and tourism are the result of its geography. Tourism and the related industries are more relevant in Póvoa's economy these days, as fisheries have lost importance. Nevertheless, the mean value of fish landed in 2004, in its seaport, was almost three times that of Matosinhos seaport and significantly higher in the average vessels' capacity. Its fishing productivity is also comparatively higher than the national average.

Monte Adriano, the seventh largest construction company in Portugal, [cite web | title= À procura de parceiros | url= http://www.portugalnews.pt/icep/artigo.asp?cod_artigo=144637 | accessmonthday=June 17 | accessyear=2007 | last = Martins | first = Hélder|language=Portuguese|] and the joint venture between the Royal Lankhorst Euronete and Quintas & Quintas, producer of deepwater mooring systems, are two large companies based in the city. [cite web | title= Joint venture to supply deepwater mooring systems | url= http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/article_display.cfm?ARTICLE_ID=292069&p=9 | accessmonthday=June 17 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Offshore] The manufacturing industry is an important employer, mostly in the textile industry that has low productivity and income. These industries are located out of the city in Beiriz, Balasar, and Rates. Other employers include the blanket handicraft industry of Terroso and Laundos, and the wood industries of Rates. One of the initiatives of the municipality is the "Parque Industrial de Laundos" (Industrial Park of Laundos), in the city's outskirts, next to the A28 Motorway. [cite web | title= Fomento económico: Parque Industrial de Laundos | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/fomento-economico/parque-industrial/ | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese| ]

Póvoa de Varzim is one of the principal food suppliers for Greater Porto and is part of the ancient Vinho Verde winemaking region. The coastal populations developed the masseira farm fields. This technique increases agricultural yields by using large, rectangular depressions dug into sand dunes, with the spoil piled up into banks surrounding the depression. Grapes are cultivated on the banks to the south, east and west, and trees and reeds on the northern slope act as a windbreak against the prevailing northern wind. Garden crops are grown in the central depression. [cite web | title= PremioSlowFood | url= http://www.slowfoodfoundation.com/sf_premio/PREMIO/vincitori2002/pagine_en/Portogallo_02.html | accessmonthday=September 26 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = Slow Food Foundation | last = Ruffa | first = Giovanni|] Production is still specialized in horticultural goods, but most of the masseiras were substituted by greenhouses. The inland valley region is committed to milk production and the Agros Enterprise Centre of Lactogal, the largest dairy products and milk producer company in Portugal, is under construction and will be the corporation headquarters and will have several departments such as exhibition park and laboratories, thus becoming the largest agricultural project in the north of Portugal. [cite web | title= Agros investirá 40 ME em Centro Empresarial que Ficará Concluído em 2008 | url= http://www.agros.pt/Noticias/noticia193.htm | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = Agros SGPS|language=Portuguese|]


Póvoa de Varzim is governed by a "Câmara Municipal" (City Council) composed of nine councilmen. A Municipal Assembly exists and it is the legislative body of the municipality, consisting of 39 members, twelve of whom are presidents of civil parishes.

After the 2005 municipal elections, six councilmen were members of the centre-right "Partido Social Democrata" (PSD) and the remaining three of the centre-left "Partido Socialista" (PS). The mayor is Macedo Vieira, for the PSD, elected with 54.21% of the votes. [ [http://www.portugalpolitico.com/au2005/estatistica/resultados~r1~13~r2~1313.aspx?tab=2 Resultados de Eleições anteriores por região — Póvoa de Varzim] PortugalPolítico.com] The PSD holds the majority of public offices both in the Municipal Assembly and in the civil parishes. After the first free elections, with the end of the "Estado Novo" period, only right-wing parties have governed the city: the city council was governed by the CDS between 1976 and 1989 and since then by the PSD. The CDS saw its popularity suffer an abrupt decline in 1997, and has since then been the third political party. On the other hand, the PSD in the same year achieved its first absolute majority with 62.4% of the votes.

Póvoa de Varzim is the northernmost municipality in the Porto Metropolitan Area, about 27 km (16 mi) north of downtown Porto. Despite being enclosed in the northern metropolis, Póvoa de Varzim is part of the Association of Municipalities of the Ave Valley. Within the context of the European Union, Póvoa de Varzim is twinned, since 1986, with the city of Montgeron in France, with Eschborn in Germany (since 1998) and Żabbar in Malta (since 2001) and it received the 1995 and 2005 Golden Stars of Town-twinning from the European Commission. [cite web | title= As Cidades Geminadas, as Relações Internacionais e a Cooperação | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/cidades-geminadas | accessmonthday=December 30 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese| ]

Between 1308 and 1836, the municipality was made up of a single parish territory of which, over time, grew to approach the medieval borders. With the administrative reform of the land in 1836, Póvoa de Varzim annexed Rates township, regained the remaining domains of Argivai, and obtained Balasar, Estela, Laúndos, Navais, Terroso, Outeiro Maior, Parada, Rio Mau, and Santagões. In 1853, it exchanged the preceding four with nearby Vila do Conde and got Amorim and Beiriz. The civil parishes of Aver-o-Mar and Aguçadoura were created in early 20th century through the dismemberment of Amorim and Navais, respectively. The settlement of Aver-o-Mar was first annexed in the 17th century due to an emergent community of fishing-farmers. On the other hand, Caxinas and Poça da Barca, south expansion areas of Póvoa de Varzim in the 18th and 19th centuries with fisher populations from Póvoa, are still administrated by Vila do Conde, in spite of the centuries-old requests of Póvoa de Varzim for these to be incorporated in its municipality. ["A Voz da Póvoa" N.° 1277 ("in Portuguese"), 2006-08-31]

The origin of the coat of arms of Póvoa de Varzim is unknown, but it certainly has local traits and symbolism. The coat of arms is composed of a golden sun and a silver moon; in the middle a golden cross completed by two anchor silver arms, representing safety at sea. Over the cross, a ring, of which falls a golden rosary that interlaces with the anchor arms, representing faith and divine protection. The crest is made of five silver towers due to its city status. The flag is broken in blue and white. Between 1939 and 1958, a different coat of Arms and flag were used, which the population criticized; it consisted of a golden shield, covered by a red net, the sea and a black "Poveiro" boat; the flag was plain red. The population did not accept these new symbols and years later the old ones would be restored.


Póvoa de Varzim has public, denominational and independent schools in the city and rural areas. Public education in the municipality is provided by five school districts: Flávio Gonçalves, Cego do Maio, Aver-o-Mar, Campo Aberto, and Rates. These school districts arrange kindergartens and schools to the 9th grade of different locales of the municipality and are headed by "Escolas de Educação Básica do 2.° e 3.° Ciclo" (6th to the 9th grade schools) that give the name to each district. [cite web | title= Estabelecimentos de Educação | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/educacao | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese|] Private schools are primarily run by Catholic parishes or groups, but the "Grande Colégio da Póvoa de Varzim" and "Campo Verde School of Agriculture" are eminent independent schools and MAPADI is a large facility and school for children with down syndrome. "Colégio do Sagrado Coração de Jesus", where Agustina Bessa-Luís studied, will reopen in the 2007-2008 school year, planning to become a leading catholic school.

High schools (10th to the 12th grade) are situated in the city centre: "Escola Secundária Eça de Queirós" and "Escola Secundária Rocha Peixoto". The "Colégio de Amorim" is an independent school in the civil parish of Amorim that also offers secondary education. Eça de Queirós was a lyceum created in 1904 that maintains its humanist outlook and Rocha Peixoto was a former industrial and commercial school created in 1924.

The Porto Polytechnic runs, jointly in Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde, the Superior School of Industrial Studies and Management (ESEIG), which once was based in two campuses, one in each city, but it was united in a single new school, on the border between the two cities. A little more than one quarter of the population now has intermediate or superior level qualifications. The illiteracy level was reduced between 1991 and 2001 from 7 to 5.9 percent.

The "Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library", established in 1880, on the 300th anniversary of the death of Luís de Camões was finally housed in the current building in 1991. The "Pólos de leitura" of Aguçadoura, Amorim, Balazar, Laúndos, and Rates are small libraries located in the countryside and, as the "Diana Bar Beach Library", are extension posts of the municipal library.


Healthcare and security

The first healthcare structure, the "Santa Casa da Misericórdia da Póvoa de Varzim" (Holy House of Mercy), opened in 1756. The hospitals of the city are the São Pedro Pescador Hospital (state-run) and Clipóvoa Hospital (private). The public hospital suffers from lack of bed spaces. Due to this, there is an on-going plan to build a modern hospital, in the border between the cities of Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde, to serve the population of both municipalities. The "Centro de Saúde da Póvoa de Varzim" (Health Centre) is a public primary care building which has extensions in the main parishes.

The Municipal Police of Póvoa de Varzim, one of the first to be established in the country, is an administrative police force that acts solely within the municipality and reports directly to the mayor. The Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP) does the city policing, while the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) is responsible for the countryside. In terms of crime, Póvoa de Varzim is considered by the Polícia de Segurança Pública as a "calm" zone in all categories of offense; violent crime, in particular, is practically non-existent. Mostly, crime consists of minor robberies to homes, stores, or from cars. [cite journal
title = Criminalidade violenta passou ao lado da Póvoa e Vila
journal = Póvoa Semanário
date = February 1, 2006|language=Portuguese

Póvoa is one of the twelve national sea borders controlled by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF). [cite journal
title = SEF controla fronteiras marítimas
journal = Correio da Manhã
date = September 2, 2006
url = http://www.correiomanha.pt/noticia.asp?id=237858&idselect=21&idCanal=21&p=200|language=Portuguese
format = dead link|date=June 2008 – [http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=intitle%3ASEF+controla+fronteiras+mar%C3%ADtimas&as_publication=Correio+da+Manh%C3%A3&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&btnG=Search Scholar search]
] The Escola Prática dos Serviços, just east of the city by the A28 motorway, is the national headquarters for military administration instruction, with the Battalion of Military Administration, and, due to the reorganization of army services, the former Escola Prática de Administração Militar, from 2006 onwards it gained the material and transport services, thus increasing its range of functions and troop numbers. [cite web | title= EPS — Historical | url= http://www.exercito.pt | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = Exército Português|language=Portuguese|]


Póvoa de Varzim is served by a transportation network that employs maritime, aerial and terrestrial travel. The terrestrial access infrastructure is composed of national motorways (freeways), the national roads system, and light rail metro. These infrastructures and the airport, bus terminal, marina and harbour are used daily by thousands of people to travel to the city.

The Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) is located 18 km (11 mi) south of the city. It is the second biggest international airport in Portugal and serves all Greater Porto. The Line B of Porto Metro links Póvoa de Varzim to Porto with two services: a standard and a shuttle (the "Expresso"); through Verdes station, Metro trains link the city and the airport. [cite web | title= A Linha Vermelha chega à Póvoa | url= http://www.metrodoporto.pt/pagegen.asp?SYS_PAGE_ID=834743&id=140 | accessmonthday=September 9 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = Metro do Porto|language=Portuguese|] The line operates on a former railway, which opened in 1875 and deactivated in 2002 to give way for the metro. The railway network was expanded and reached Famalicão in 1881, it was deactivated in 1995 and expected to become a rail trail. [cite web | title= As Linhas de Porto-Póvoa-Famalicão e Guimarães: resumo histórico | url= http://www.vialivre.org/comboios/linhas/l_povoa_guima_001.html | accessmonthday=July 6 | accessyear=2007 | publisher = Vialivre.org|language=Portuguese|]

Public transportation within the city is provided by private-owned companies. Streetcars appeared in 1874 and endured until the first years of the 20th century. The "Central de Camionagem" is a terminus for urban and long distance buses that provide mass transit in the surrounding region, namely the city's countryside, Porto, Minho Region, and Galicia in Spain. Litoral Norte as a wholly urban transportation network with 5 lines, while Linhares has the oldest bus network operating in the city. [cite web | title= Nova linha de transporte liga Zona Industrial de Amorim a Vila do Conde | url= http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/groups/staff/conteudo/noticias/nova-linha-de-transporte-liga-zona-industrial-de-amorim-a-vila-do-conde | accessmonthday=July 3 | accessyear=2006 | publisher = CMPV|language=Portuguese|]

The city is connected by road on a north-south axis from Valença to Porto by the A28 motorway. It is also reached by the A7 and A11 motorways on an east-west axis, through the south and north of the city, in that order, and both cross the A28.

The traditional road system of the city, composed of roads that run parallel in the direction of the sea, can be seen in any of the following avenues: Avenida do Mar, Avenida Vasco da Gama, Avenida Mouzinho de Albuquerque, and Avenida Santos Graça. The Avenida dos Descobrimentos and Avenida dos Banhos, in other hand, run parallel to the coast. The growth of the city inland and northwards made ring roads more important, this can be seen in Avenida 25 de Abril, an urban belt road.

Although it lost usefulness for average and long distances, the National Roads system has acquired municipal interest: EN13 that cuts the city in half, in a north-south direction, is used by commuters originating from the northern parishes and from the city of Vila do Conde, in the south, to travel downtown. The EN205 and the EN206 are used by commuters starting from the interior of the municipality.

ee also

*List of notable residents of Póvoa de Varzim
*Póvoa de Varzim in popular culture
*Sculptures in Póvoa de Varzim
*Aguçadora Wave Park


External links

* [http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt Portal Municipal] pt icon - official website of the city
* [http://ww.cm-pvarzim.pt/biblioteca/ Biblioteca Municipal Rocha Peixoto] pt icon - City libraries
* [http://www.povoasemanario.pt Póvoa Semanário] pt icon - News weekly
* [http://www.vozdapovoa.com/ A Voz da Póvoa] pt icon - News weekly
* [http://www.cm-pvarzim.pt/turismo/mapas-da-cidade/mapapvz_uk.zip/download Tourist Map] en icon

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Póvoa de Varzim — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Póvoa de Varzim …   Wikipedia Español

  • Póvoa de Varzim — Wappen Karte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Póvoa de Varzim — Géolocalisation sur la carte : Portugal …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Povoa de Varzim — Póvoa de Varzim Póvoa de Varzim …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Póvoa de varzim — Póvoa de Varzim …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Povoa de Varzim — Povoa de Varzim, Flecken im Civilgouvernement Porto der portugiesischen Provinz Minho, am Atlantischen Ocean; Fischerei; 5600 Ew …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Póvoa de Varzim — (spr. pōwŭa de warsīng), Stadt im portug. Distrikt Porto (Provinz Minho), am Atlantischen Ozean und an der Eisenbahn Porto Famalicão, hat unbedeutende Festungsanlagen, einen Hafen, Seebad, Fischerei und (1900) 12,623 Einw …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Póvoa de Varzim — (spr. wua de warsīng), Hafenstadt in der portug. Prov. Minho, (1900) 12.623 E.; Seebad …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Povoa de Varzim — Original name in latin Pvoa de Varzim Name in other language Poboa nte Barzim, Povoa de Varzim, Povua de Varzinas, Povua di Varzin, Pvoa de Varzim, Villa Euracini, bo wa di wa er jin, pwwa dwarzym, Повоа де Варзим, Повуа ди Варзин, State code PT… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Póvoa de Varzim — Sp Pòvua de Varzinas Ap Póvoa de Varzim L Portugalija …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”