Coat of arms
Coordinates: 40°41′36″N 8°28′52″W / 40.69333°N 8.48111°W / 40.69333; -8.48111Coordinates: 40°41′36″N 8°28′52″W / 40.69333°N 8.48111°W / 40.69333; -8.48111
Country  Portugal
Region Centro
Subregion Baixo Vouga
Intermunic. comm. Região de Aveiro
District Aveiro
Parishes 6
  President João Agostinho Pinto Pereira (PPD-PSD)
  Total 158.83 km2 (61.32 sq mi)
Elevation 124 m (407 ft)
Population (2011)
  Total 25,252
  Density 160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Time zone WET/WEST (UTC+0/+1)
Postal code 3850
Area code 292
Patron Santa Cruz

Albergaria-a-Velha (Portuguese pronunciation: [aɫβɨɾɣɐˈɾi.a ˈvɛʎɐ]) is a town and a municipality in the Aveiro District in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 25,252,[1] in an area of 158.83 km².[2] It had 19,687 eligible voters in 2006.


In 1117, D. Teresa, Countess of Portucale, and mother of Afonso Henriques the first king of Portugal, donated to the nobleman Gonçalo Eriz the lands that constitute Albergaria-a-Velha. As part of the donation the nobleman was obligated to maintain open a hospice for poor travels.[3] The document referred to this shelter for the travelling poor, or albergaria, and thus the area was known as Albergaria.

Later, the Carta do Couto de Osselôa was discovered that definitely identified both the first document to refer to Portugal as a Kingdom and at the same figured in the identification of Albergaria-a-Velha as an administrative unit of the country. The Bishop of Coimbra, D. Egas, in 1258, ordered this document to be transcribed in order to conserve it.[4] Also, because it was the older Albergaria, owing to the existence of Albergaria-a-Nova, the community began to be referred to as Albergaria-a-Velha (meaning Portuguese for older).[4]

The first references to Albergaria as town, developed in the 16th Century, with the erection of an obelisk in the municipal square, around the location of the first hospital. It was ordered erected at the hospital by the Lisbon government on 27 May 1629.

The municipality was created in 1834, when the older municipality of Aveiro was dismembered, and the new administrative divisions Loure, Albergaria-a-Velha and Vale Maior reconstituted. Just after this reconstitution, the parish of Alquerubim (Paus) was annexed to Albergaria-a-Velha, and later the parishes of Branca, Ribeira de Fráguas ( both around 1855), Angeja and Frossos (in 1854) were incorporated.


Population of
(1849 - 2006)
1849 4,717    
1900 13,526+186.8%
1930 15,296+13.1%
1960 18,446+20.6%
1981 21,326+15.6%
1991 21,995+3.1%
2001 24,638+12.0%
2004 25,497+3.5%
2006 25,921+1.7%

The municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha is located in the transition zone between the coastal municipalities of Murtosa, Aveiro, Estarreja and Ílhavo and the more mountain communities in the interior.

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 6 civil parishes (freguesias):[5]


The fertile lands of Albergaria-a-Velha have been historically a center of agriculture and cattle-raising, so much so, that it has been erroneously considered an agricultural community. In fact, the secondary sector represents 56.2% of the activity within the municipality, while the primary sector occupies 13.6% of the economic activity. This secondary sector includes basic industrial businesses involved in metallurgy, industrial textiles and lumber industries. These companies are primarily small- to medium-size enterprises with less than 20 employees.

Most of the transformative sectors are concentrated in the parishes of Albergaria-a-Velha and Branca, representing about 90% of the secondary sector. The urbanized are of the parish of Albergaria-a-Velha is the primary beneficiary of these industries; its geo-strategic position in the center of the municipality and industrial zone provides the region with incubator affects. Activities such as metallurgy and fabrication, equipment production, transformation of lumber goods, paper production, the fabrication and restoration of furniture, as well as the production of ceramics, provide Albergaria-a-Velha with a diversified economic base.


  1. Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. Direção-Geral do Território
  3. Alexandre Herculano (1855); The historical tradition suggests that Queen Teresa, passing through Assilhó, stayed at the home Gonçalo Eriz and his wife Andreza Pires, where she had a child, and for this motive instituted a hospital, securing vast territories for the benefit of illustrious visitors. Notwithstanding D. Teresa had a romantic relationship with Fernando Peres de Trava, and had a son after the death of the Count Henrique, it is known that she did remain. In 1117 she also traveled to Coimbra where she further remained at Albergaria, and in June after being encircled by forces of the Emir of Morocco, and during her return remained in Assilhó for a while, and later to the north, relaxing in lands around Feira
  4. 1 2 Camara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha (1966)
  5. Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, page 552 6" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 15 July 2014.

External links

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