Vila Velha

The municipality of Vila Velha de Ródão was part of the Herdade da Açafa, donated to the Templars by King Sancho I in 1189, and its settlement predates the formation of nationality. You do not know him foral. Its area was a strategic point in the delimitation of the Christian frontiers vis-a-vis the Muslims and in guaranteeing the freedom of navigation of the Tagus, hence the need to build the castle of Portas de Ródão.

The existence of the Manueline pillory confirms the municipal autonomy after sec. XIII. Port of the Tagus In 1708, Ródão was a coroner of the Order of Christ, Commendation of the Count of Athouguia and counted only 160 fires. In 1768 it was already a village of the Bishopric of the Guard and counted 172 fires.

The Census of 1864 attributed to him 355 fires and 1454 inhabitants and the one of 1878 gave to him 430 fires and 1652 inhabitants. In 1708, the municipality already had the same four parishes today – Vila Velha de Rodam, Alfrívida (now Perais parish headquarters), Sarnadas and Fratel – and had a total of 560 houses. Portas de Ródão The importance of Ródão comes from the Port of Tejo that gave way to a commercial and pastoral road, fundamental for the development of the regions of Beira Baixa and Alentejo. River traffic was very active until the construction of the railroad in 1885-93, which replaced it. From the military-strategic point of view, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

A series of military actions took place in Vila Velha de Ródão, in the context of the Seven Years’ War and the French Invasions, which place this town in the annals of the History of Portugal and whose defense works are still visible today. Despite its strategic importance, it seems undeniable that at the beginning of sec. XIX Ródão presented itself in decadence. In the last quarter of sec. XIX, the construction of the metal bridge and the railway contributed decisively to the development of the county.

It was also at this time that intensive olive cultivation was introduced in this region, which so markedly contributed to changes in the local landscape and economy. From 1971, the implantation of the Celtejo plant (later Portucel) will mean the materialization of the industrial option on the part of this county, with the consequent environmental, social and economic transformations.

More information: