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Figueira da Foz

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Figueira da Foz, also known as Figueira for short, is a city and a municipality in the Coimbra District, in Portugal. It is located at the mouth of the Mondego River, 40 km west of Coimbra, and sheltered by hills (Serra da Boa Viagem). The population in 2011 was 62,125, in an area of 379.05 km². The city of Figueira da Foz proper has a population of 46,600. It is the second largest city in the district of Coimbra.It is a coastal city with several beaches, summer and seaport facilities on the Atlantic Ocean coast. As a tourism city, it plays an important part in the centre of the country. A zone of legal gambling, one can find in Figueira one of the biggest casinos of the Iberian Peninsula – the Casino Figueira.History and landmarksAccording to the legend the place’s name is due to a fig tree, which stood at the quay of Salmanha, where the fishermen used to tie up their boats. The historian Nelson Borges said, however, that Figueira comes from the word "fagaria", which means "opening, huge mouth". Foz comes from the Latin word "fouces" = "mouth of a river", and Mondego comes from the pre-romanic expressions "mond" = "mouth" and "aec"= "river". That means, Figueira da Foz would be "the river’s mouth opening". Some historical traces show that people were settling in this region since the Neolithic age. The oldest known document, however, dates from the year 1096. In this an abbot named Pedro donates estates, which belonged to the church of S. Julião, to the cathedral Sé Velha of Coimbra.
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