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HISTORY OF CHAVES

There are numerous evidence in the region of Chaves, left by prehistoric civilizations, leading even to admit the existence of settlements in the distant Palaeolithic period. It's considered from this period a stone tool found in the slope of the Brunheiro. However, there are many findings from the Neolithic to the Chalcolithic in Mairos, Pastoria, S. Lourenço, among other places, and proto-historic civilizations, namely in multiple settlements located in the hills surrounding the region of Alto Tâmega.

 

It were the Roman Legions, which for two millennia dominated those men, who until then had lived like gods, placed at the top of the mountains and settled especially in the fertile Tâmega Valley. They settled in what is now the city and distributed small fortifications in the surrounding heights, taking advantage for such outpost, some of the subjugated settlements. Built, presumably, the first wall involving the agglomeration; built the imposing Trajan Bridge, on the route Bracara-Asturica, took profit from the hot medicinal mineral waters by developing thermal spas; explored ore, gold-bearing veins and other soil and subsoil resources.

 

 

This urban center acquired such importance then that was elevated to Township, when in 79 AD ruled Vespasian, first Caesar of the Flaviae Family. This is the origin of Aquae Flaviae, former name of the current city of Chaves and the designation of its inhabitants, Flavienses. It is estimated, by the relics found, that the imposing monumental core and urban center stood on the small hill surrounding the area now occupied by the Matriz Church. Its current outline still recalls the fringe of a roman camp, with the Forum, the Capitol and the Decumana that would be the Direita Street. In fact, in this perimeter were found the most important archaeological remains to bear witness to it, exhibited in the Museum of the Flaviense Region, and to stand out is a headstone alluding to a gladiators combat. The flourish of Roman rule occurred until the early 3rd century, gradually disappearing with the invasion of the people called Barbarians. The invasions of the Suevic, Visigoths and Alans, from Eastern Europe, ended the roman colonization.

 

The period of barbarian domination lasted until the Moors, people of North Africa, invaded the region and defeated Roderic, the last Visigoth king, in the early 8th century. With the Arab invasion, Islam also invaded the space occupied by Christianity, which led to a bitter religious dispute and caused the flight of the resident population to the mountains. The skirmishes between Moors and Christians lasted until the 11th century. The city began to be recovered from the Moors in the 9th century, by D. Afonso, King of Leon who partially rebuilt it. But soon after, in the first quarter of the 10th century, the city fell again into Moors authority, until the 11th century, when D. Afonso III, King of Leon, rescued, rebuild, populated and surrounded with walls. The Islamic presence remains only in popular culture, in a variety of legends linking settlements, fabulous treasures and enchanted Moors.

 

It was probably, around 1160 that Chaves was integrated in the country that was then Portugal, with the relevant intervention of legendary Ruy and Garcia Lopes so intimately connected with this lands history.

 

Because of its borders situation, Chaves was vulnerable to attacks from invaders. D. Dinis, as a protective measure, ordered the raising of the Castle and the walled fortress that still dominates much of the town and its outskirts.

 

In 1253 was held in Chaves, the marriage of D. Afonso III with his niece D. Beatrice, daughter of Afonso X, the Wise. It was the Bolognese the one who gave the town its 1st statutory, on May 15th, 1258; D. Manuel I would grant a new statutory in 1514. In the course of the War of Independence, D. John I set up around Chaves a siege that lasted four months, having surrendered the square to him. The landlord of the village was then assigned to D. Nuno Alvares Pereira, who would yield to D. Afonso, his son-in-law, founder of the House of Braganza, in which Chaves was maintained for several centuries.

 

Scenery of several episodes of warfare in the 19th century, there it was celebrated on September 20th, 1837, the so called Convention of Chaves, after the battle of Ruivães, which ended the Chartist uprising of 1837, known by the rebellion of the marshals.

 

On July 8th, 1912, was fought a battle between the monarchical forces of  Paiva Couceiro and the republican government, headed by Colonel Ribeiro de Carvalho, which resulted in the end of the 1st monarchical incursion. The Republicans involved in this struggle were honored in the place names of Lisbon, with the designation of an avenue, the Avenue Defenders of Chaves, between Avenue Casal Ribeiro and Campo Pequeno

 

On March 12th, 1929 Chaves was raised to city.

Sunday, 21 January 1900