The municipality of Vila Real is made up of 30 parishes, and, without prejudice to the urban feature of its headquarters, maintains well marked rural features. Two types of landscape dominate: the mountainous terrain of the Marão and Alvão, separated by the green and fertile land of the Champion Valley, and, to the South, a close proximity to the Douro region vineyards. The Douro vineyards are classified by UNESCO as World Heritage cultural landscape( http://www.dourovalley.eu/ ). Everywhere there are watercourses supplying water for the County, highlighting the Corgo River, which crosses the city in a small but deep valley, creating a landscape of exceptional beauty.
And Vila Real is on the banks of this river, one of the many tributaries for the Douro, the town rises to about 450 meters of altitude, in a region which shows evidence of having been inhabited since Palaeolithic times.
The first Charter, “Constantine Panóias”, was bestowed in 1096 by count d. Henrique. But it was in 1289 with the Charter of d. Dinis (the first given by this monarch to Vila Real) that founded “Vila Real de Panóias”, and would later become the city of today. Its importance in the 17th and 18th centuries was substantiated and then dubbed the ‘ Court of Trás-os-Montes ‘, currently visible in the numerous building stones from various houses, attesting to the nobility of their owners, who settled and lived under the influence of the House of the marquesses of Vila Real. Later, Vila Real was conferred provincial Capital status, and in this century, within the 1920s, was recognized by its demographic and economic weight, by two administrative edicts of great importance: the creation of the Diocese on 20 April 1922 and the transformation to a city on July 20, 1925. Currently, Vila Real lives in a phase of increasing industrial, commercial and services development, with emphasis on health, education, tourism, presenting itself as a strong attraction for foreign investment.
Accept the invitation from the poet who says: “Between who you are …!” and next verify that ” on this side of the Marão, you need to know you will be well received!”
For more information about the city and the region visit the site of the municipal government