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Vila do Conde

Vila do Conde is a municipality in the Norte Region of Portugal. The population in 2011 was 79,533, in an area of 149.03 km². The urbanized area of Vila do Conde, which includes the parishes of Vila do Conde, Azurara and Árvore, represent 36,137 inhabitants. Vila do Conde is interlinked to the north with the Póvoa de Varzim, forming a single urban agglomeration.HistoryVila do Conde is one of the oldest settlements in northern Portugal. Geological artifacts dating to the Paleolithic have been discovered in sites in the parishes of Modivas, Malta, and Labruge dating from 100,000 to 15,000 years. In other parishes there have also been discoveries of implements and mounds dating back to the Bronze Age and Neolithic periods indicating a period of transition between forging and sedimentary civilizations.Its origins date back to the founding of the Portuguese territory; the earliest written document (953), by the Countess Mumadona Dias, refers to the Villa de Comite, in a chart used for the sale of land by Flamula Deo-Vota, to the Monastery of Guimarães. But its ancient origins date back to the Castro of São João, and other Iron age castros, that include dispersed settlements in Retorta, Bagunte, Ferreiró, Vairão and Labruge. In the 18th century, Jerónimo Contador de Argote, citing references to the castro culture, identified the existence of one of these structures in the hilltops of Cividade de Bagunte, a structure occupying 50ha. Other castros within the municipality have been mostly agricultural, and some discoveries of ceramics have occurred, although most have been found in ruins. Similar vestiges of the Roman occupation of the region continue to be discovered, and archaeological digs are ongoing in a dozen sites throughout the municipality.
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