Torres Vedras is a municipality, on the Silver Coast of Portugal. It is situated 50 kilometres north of Lisbon (approximately a 50 minute drive), and in 2011, when the last census was taken, there were 79,465 people living there.
Torres Vedras has 13 freguesias, as well as a number of urban settlements, most of which have under 200 people living there. The freguesias are:
- A dos Cunhados e Maceira
- Campelos e Outeiro da Cabeça
- Carvoeira e Carmões
- Dois Portos e Runa
- Maxial e Monte Redondo
- Ponte do Rol
- São Pedro da Cadeira
- Torres Vedras (São Pedro e Santiago e Santa Maria do Castelo e São Miguel) e Matacães
Other places of interest in the Torres Vedras region include:
- TheAqueduct of Fonte dos Canos which fed water through to the city centre and ended at the Chafariz dos Canos, which can still be viewed today.
- Leonel Trindade Municipal Museum, situated in the city centre
- Castro of Zambujal, the ruins of a prehistoric fortified village
- Watermill Santa Cruz, a cultural centre of the area showing information on times gone by
- Santa Maria do Castelo Church, situated inside the protective outer walls of the castle
- Several award winning beaches along the Silver Coast west side of the Torres Vedras region
The city of Torres Vedras is dominated by the castle ruins, high up on a hilltop. There has been a structure on this site since the Romans, almost 2000 years ago, although several additions and changes were made to it throughout the years. The castle was an important part of the Lines of Torres Vedras, constructed to fight against the 3rd French invasion of Portugal in 1810, and includes fortified structures stretching from the Atlantic coast to the River Tagus. Wellington lead an Anglo-Portuguese victory against Napoleonic advances along the Lines of Torres Vedras. As well as the castle, which is now mostly in ruins due to the 1755 earthquake, other forts such as Saint Vincent and Alqueidão, (Wellington’s headquarters) from The Lines can still be visited.
Torres Vedras city centre mainly consists of individual shops and mini enclosed shopping malls/walk ways. These shops offer a wide range of fresh produce, retail shops, chemists and stationery items as well as a choice of banks, lawyers, accountants and hairdressers. Every morning, in the Mercado Municipal building, there is a fresh produce market offering fresh fish, meat, vegetables, flowers etc.
On the outskirts, to the North of the town, there are large supermarkets, diy stores and a shopping centre which also holds the town’s cinema.
The main park in Torres Vedras is Parque Verde da Varzea. It has a comprehensive play area, catering for children of all ages, with a newly refurbished restaurant nearby.
There are also a skateboarding park and tennis courts.
There are several education choices in Torres Vedras, both private and public schools are available for the ages 6-18.
For preschool age children, there are a variety of crèches or kindergartens.