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Loures

Loures is a city and a municipality in the central Portuguese Grande Lisboa Subregion. It is situated to the north of Lisbon. It was created on 26 July 1886 by a royal decree. The population in 2011 was 199,494, in an area of 167.24 km². It borders the municipalities of Odivelas, Sintra, Mafra, Arruda dos Vinhos, Vila Franca de Xira and Lisbon. The city itself had a population of 15,967 in 2001.The municipality is basically divided in three areas: the rustic one, to the north (the parishes of Lousa, Fanhões, Bucelas, Santo Antão do Tojal and São Julião do Tojal), the urban one, to the south (Frielas, Loures and Santo António dos Cavaleiros) and the urban-industrial, to the east (Apelação, Bobadela, Camarate, Moscavide, Portela de Sacavém, Prior Velho, Sacavém, Santa Iria de Azóia, São João da Talha and Unhos).In this eastern area, the ten local parishes claim to be independent from Loures, and form its own municipality set in the town of Sacavém. This struggle dates from the beginnings of the Portuguese Republic, and has a very strong support among the local population.HistoryLoures was a Roman settlement back at the beginning of the 1st millennium, based in a cemetery that eventually became the site of the first church. It was also a region notable for the presence of many castros, before the Roman occupation; the Romans influenced many of these settlers to abandon the foothills and begin occupying the fertile lowlands for economic reasons. After the Romans, the Visigoths began occupying the territory, followed by the Moors (after the 8th century).
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