Leiria: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leiria (Portuguese pronunciation: [lɐjˈɾiɐ]) is a city in Leiria Municipality in the Centro Region, Portugal. It is the capital of Leiria District. The city proper has 50,200 inhabitants and the entire municipality has nearly 120,000. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leiria-Fátima.


Geography and Location

Leiria is located in the Centro Region and sub region of Pinhal Litoral, about halfway between Lisbon and Porto. The distance to Lisbon is 135 km, to Coimbra 72 km and to Porto 179 km. The historic city centre spreads between the castle hill and the river Lis. Leiria is also included in the Urban Community of Leiria. As the main city in this community, the area of influence of Leiria spreads over the cities of Marinha Grande, Ourém, Alcobaça, Fátima, Pombal as well the municipalities/town seats of Batalha, Porto de Mós and Nazaré located nearby.


Leiria is serviced by several motorways, including the A1 - Auto-estrada do Norte linking Porto to Lisbon, passing by Coimbra and Leiria. A railway Linha do Oeste (West railway line linking Cacém (Sintra/Lisbon area) to Figueira da Foz). Leiria train station is a few km from the city center (about 2 km). The main bus depot service is in the city downtown. There is a small airfield (Aérodromo de Leiria), used for sports and recreation. Two bus loops, called Mobilis, serve the town.


Leiria is close to the Atlantic Ocean. Spring and Summer months are usually sunny and the temperatures very high during July and August, with highs usually above 30°C only rarely reaching 40°C. Autumn and Winter are typically rainy and windy, yet sunny days are not rare either, the temperatures rarely fall below 5°C, usually staying at an average of 10°C. Leiria's climate is classified as Atlantic-Mediterranean.


The region around Leiria has been inhabited for a long time, although its early history is very obscure. The Turduli, an indigenous people from Iberia, established a settlement near (around 7 km) present-day Leiria. This settlement was later occupied by the Romans, who expanded it under the name Collippo. The stones of the ancient Roman town were used in the Middle Ages to build much of Leiria.

Little is known about the area in Visigothic times, but during the period of Arab domination Leiria was already a village with a garrison. Moorish Leiria was captured by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques in 1135, during the so-called Reconquista. The settlement was shortly retaken by the Moors in 1137 and then in 1140. In 1142 Afonso Henriques reconquered Leiria, dating from this year its first foral (compilation of feudal rights) to stimulate the colonisation of the area.

Main square and Leiria Castle uphill.

Both Afonso Henriques and Sancho I rebuilt the walls and the Leiria Castle to avoid new Moorish incursions. Most of the population lived inside the protective city walls, but already in the 12th century part of the population lived outside the walls. The oldest church of Leiria, the Church of Saint Peter (Igreja de São Pedro), built in romanesque style in the last quarter of the 12th century, served the parish located outside the walls.

During the Middle Ages the importance of the village increased, and it was the setting of several cortes (feudal parliaments). The first of the cortes held in Leiria took place in 1245, under King Afonso II. In the early 14th century, King Dinis I restored the keep tower of the citadel of the castle, as can be seen in an inscription in the tower. He also built a royal residence in Leiria (now lost), and lived for long periods in the town, which he donated as feud to his wife, Isabel. The King also ordered the plantation of the famous Pine Forest of Leiria (Pinhal de Leiria) near the coast. Later, the wood from this forest would be used to build the ships used in the Portuguese Navigations of the 15th and 16th centuries.

In the late 15th century, King John I built a royal palace within the walls of the castle of Leiria. This palace, with elegant gothic galleries that offered wonderful views of the town and surrounding landscape, was totally in ruins but was partially rebuilt in the 20th century. John I also sponsored the rebuilding in late gothic style of the old Church of Our Lady of the Rock (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Pena), located inside the castle.

Towards the end of the 15th century the town continued to grow, occupying the area from the castle hill down to the river Lis. King Manuel I gave it a new foral in 1510, and in 1545 it was elevated to the category of city and became see of a Diocese. The Cathedral of Leiria was built in the second half of the 16th century in a mix of late manueline and mannerist styles.

Compared to the Middle Ages, the subsequent history of Leiria is of relative decadence. In the 20th century, however, its strategic position in the Portuguese territory favoured the development of a diversified industry.


Leiria has an economy concentrated on services and light industries. It has several industries related with plastics and moulds, as well as animal food, milling, cement, and civil construction, among other light industries. Agriculture, tourism, and state-run public services, such as education (including the Polytechnical Institute of Leiria), health (the district hospital Hospital de Santo André[1]) and general public administration, are an important part of Leiria's economy.

Gothic gallery in the Castle of Leiria.


Leiria is connected to its suburbs and the rest of Portugal by a motorway network. There are three motorways passing the city; the A1 (Lisbon-Porto), the A8 (Lisbon-Leiria) and the A17 (Marinha Grande-Aveiro).

The city is also served by the Linha do Oeste railway line, which serves the central western coast of Portugal.

Leiria-based newspapers

  • Região de Leiria - Weekly
  • Jornal de Leiria - Weekly
  • Diário de Leiria - Daily
  • Quinze - Monthly
  • O Mensageiro - Monthly


Leiria hosts a national public polytechnic institution of higher education, the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria[1]. Secondar education schools include, Escola e,b 2,3 D.Dinis[2], and Escola dos Capuchos[3].


The city of Leiria has its own football (soccer) team, the União Desportiva de Leiria, commonly called just União de Leiria. It currently plays at the top of Portuguese football, the Liga Sagres.

An important facility is the Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, situated close to Leiria castle. The modern stadium has a capacity for 25,000 people and was built for the 2004 European Football Championship.

Efforts are being made to sell it, as it only brings a loss to the city.


See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Leiria is a city in Beira Litoral,Pinhal Litoral,in central Portugal.

Get in

By Plane - The nesrest airports of Leiria are Portela airport (in Lisbon) and Francisco Sá Carneiro airport (in Oporto).

By Train - There are daily connections between Paris and Lisbon (Sud-Express), entering by the Vilar Formoso border; between Lisbon and Madrid, by the Marvão border; and between Porto and Vigo (Spain), by the Valença border.

By Bus - There are 3 bus companies linking OPorto (Internorte), Lisbon (Intercentro) and Faro (Intersul) to several European cities.

How to get to the Region - National road: IC2 (Lisbon - Oporto) - Motorway: A1 (Lisbon - Oporto) or A8 (Lisbon - Leiria) - Train lines: North (Pombal) or West (Leiria 4 km)


castle(castelo de Leiria);Rivers Lis & Lena;Pinhal(pinewood forrest) de Leiria;Beaches;Viera de Leiria & S.Pedro de Muel.


Camping,enjoy the beaches,Berlengas isles,off the coast of Peniche[summer only].

  • Hotel Ibis Leiria, Quinta do Taborda Lote 56, (+351)244 816 700, [1].  edit

Get out

Batalha[monestary],Fatima[sanctuary]Tomar,Sao Pedro de Muel[beach].

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LEIRIA, an episcopal city and the capital of the district of Leiria, formerly included in Estremadura, Portugal; on the river Liz and on the Lisbon-Figueria da Foz railway. Pop. (1900) 4459. The principal buildings of Leiria are the ruined citadel, which dates from 1135, and the cathedral, a small Renaissance building erected in 1571 but modernized in the ,8th century. The main square of the city is named after the poet Francisco Rodrigues Lobo, who was born here about 1500. Between Leiria and the Atlantic there are extensive pine woods known as the Pinhal de Leiria, which were planted by King Diniz (1279-1325) with trees imported from the Landes in France, in order to give firmness to the sandy soil. In the neighbourhood there are glass and iron foundries, oil wells and mineral springs. Leiria, the Roman Calippo, was taken from the Moors in 1135 by Alphonso I. (Affonso Henriques). King Diniz made it his capital. In 1466 the first Portuguese printingpress was established here; in 1545 the city was made an episcopal see. The administrative district of Leiria coincides with the north and north-west of the ancient province of Estremadura (q.v.); pop. (1900) 238,755; area 1317 sq. m.

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