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Mirandela

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Mirandela is a city and a municipality in northeastern Portugal. The city itself has a population of about 15,000. The population of the municipality in 2011 was 23,850, in an area of 658.96 km². Mirandela is famous for its cuisine, particularly the alheiras. A round of the European Jetski Championship is held on the Tua River every Summer. The city has two campuses of higher education institutions - one belonging to the public Bragança Polytechnic Institute and one belonging to the private Instituto Piaget.HistoryThe settlements of Mirandela date back to the pre-historical period, but primarily relate to a period of Roman occupation. During this era, the main settlement of Mirandela was a Roman civitas, known then as Caladunum. There are abundant vestiges of the Roman occupation in Castelo Velho, São Martinho, Mourel and Prado Pequeno, that include copper coins from the reign of Emperor Tiberius. At this time the civitas was located in the region of São Martinho, but there are conflicting references as to the location of the main settlement, and when it was moved. Ernesto de Sales, referenced three documents that localized the Christian village near São Martinho (even as another document in 1258 disputed the existence of the village of Mirandela in or near this region): a charter, written by King Sancho I to Garcia Mendes, in 1198, to a location in Vilar de Maçada; a charter, written by King Afonso III conceded on 25 May 1250 to Mirandela; and a receipt made by notary in Mirandela, on 27 March 1275.It is clear, from the documents of King Denis, at the time when he was elaborating the defenses of the city of Guarda (2 September 1282), the transfer of the town of Mirandela to hilltop of mount São Miguel (where a small hermitage chapel existed at the time) had likely already occurred. This location was easily defendable and dominated the view of the fertile lands and river access.
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