Palmela

Palmela

Infobox_Municipality_pt
official_name = Palmela
image_coat_of_arms = PLM.png




Region = Lisboa
Subregion = Península de Setúbal
District = Setúbal
Mayor_name = Ana Vicente
Mayor_party = CDU
area_total = 463.0
population_total = 58,222
population_density = 126
Parishes = 5
coor = 38º40'N 8º58'W
params = 38_40_N_8_58_W
occasion =
day = June 1
website = http://www.cm-palmela.pt
footnotes =

Palmela (pron. IPA2|paɫmɛlɐ) is a municipality in Portugal with a total area of convert|463|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=on and a total population of 58,222 inhabitants.

The municipality is composed of 5 parishes, and is located in the district of Setúbal, about convert|25|km|mi|0|abbr=on south of Lisbon.

The municipal holiday is June 1.

Parishes

* Marateca
* Palmela
* Pinhal Novo
* Poceirão
* Quinta do Anjo

General info

The town's name comes from her Roman founder, Cornelius Palma ("Palmella"). Palmela, once a fortress, was conquered by the Portuguese in the XII century, from Muslim invaders. It is located up a hill in the Arrábida area, and it's a semi-rural town, right in the middle of Portugal's biggest urban area, though the fact that many people are moving in from big cities like Lisbon represents a problem. Wild fires in the region are another threat to the environment.

The town's ex libris is the castle ("Castelo de Palmela"), which offers a unique view over the whole region of Setúbal's Peninsula, Lisbon, and the Atlantic Coast. It was a strategic place in past centuries, and today it is still a main knot of Portugal's road and rail networks.

Palmela is home to many multinational industrial plants like Volkswagen or Coca-Cola, and a significant number of foreign families live in the area. The local radio often broadcasts in Ukrainian.

Palmela's traditional products are the wine, which has achieved international awards in several festivals like Bordeaux's, and the "Queijo de Azeitão" (Azeitão's cheese), also very appreciated. There are several festivals dedicated to these products, being the most famous the "Festa das Vindimas" (Vines' Festival) and the "Festival do Queijo, Pão e Vinho" (Festival of Cheese, Bread and Wine).

Palmela is the birthplace of the Portuguese explorer Hermenegildo Capelo and, as a curiosity, where some famous individuals such as Hans Christian Andersen were briefly hosted.

Economy

The municipality is famed for the production of fruit and wine. In the 1990s, a carmaker chose Palmela as the site for a manufacturing plant. The Volkswagen Autoeuropa plant in Palmela is the biggest employer in town and represents 1% of the GDP of Portugal. It opened as a 50/50 joint-venture between Volkswagen and Ford, with its initial purpose to assemble a model sold under three marques: Volkswagen Sharan, SEAT Alhambra, and Ford Galaxy. In its heyday, Autoeuropa almost reached its production limit of 172,500 units per year, but when Ford left the joint-venture and the model life-cycle approached its end, production declined considerably and Volkswagen had to compete for new models with other Volkswagen plants, while threatening to close the plant to get concessions from the workers and the State. Eventually, Autoeuropa won the production of the new model Volkswagen Eos from late 2005 and will start production of the Volkswagen Scirocco from 2008. Still, in 2005 Autoeuropa produced just 79,896 vehicles of the original models plus the Eos and will need to look for new models to keep labouring from 2010.

ee also

*Palmela IPR

External links

* [http://www.cm-palmela.pt/ Town Hall official website]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitor107/sets/72057594052758963/ Photos from Palmela]


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