Municipality of Chaves

The municipality of Chaves develops along the valley of the river Tâmega and belongs to the district of Vila Real.

With a rich architectural heritage, there are several traces left by prehistoric civilisations, an example of actual settlements, such as the various castros in the region’s hills.

Roman rule was also felt, as is an example of Trajan’s bridge, built over the Bracara-Asturica road, and the thermal spas with mineral-medicinal waters.
Chaves was an important urban centre, elevated to a municipality in the year 79 under the rule of Vespasiano, the first Caesar of the Flavia family, owing him the former designation of the city: Aquae Flaviae.

The Roman occupation lasted until the beginning of the 3rd century and was diluted with the invasion of barbarian peoples from Eastern Europe, whose occupation lasted until the Arab invasions. This led to a religious quarrel between Islam and Christianity, resulting in the flight of Christian populations to the mountains. In the 9th century, the city began to be reconquered by D. Afonso, King of León, but in the 10th century, it fell back into the hands of the Moors and only in the 11th century was it rescued by D. Afonso III.

Located on the border, Chaves was a mandatory stop for the invaders. As a protection measure, D. Dinis ordered the construction of the castle and the walled fortification that still determine the city’s geography today.

The city’s first charter dates back to 1258, granted in 1514 by King Manuel I.

With the War of Independence, a siege was set up around Chaves by D. João I, which lasted four months. Subsequently, D. Nun’Álvares Pereira became the village’s landlord, eventually handing it over to his son-in-law, D. Afonso, founder of the House of Bragança.

“The City was the scene of several warlike episodes in the 19th century, having celebrated, on September 20, 1837, the so-called Chaves Convention, after the Ruivães combat, putting an end to the Chartist revolt of 1837, known as the marshals’ revolt. In Chaves, on July 8, 1912, there was a fight between the natural forces of Paiva Couceiro and those of the republican government, led by Colonel Ribeiro de Carvalho, which resulted at the end of the 1st monarchical incursion”.

On March 12, 1929, Chaves was elevated to the status of a city.

Chaves has invested in a policy of development and settlement of the population, creating infrastructure and services. Gastronomy, particularly with products such as ham and meat pastries, is one of its biggest tourist attractions, along with the thermal waters. Due to the excellence of its mineral waters, Chaves is one of the leading wellness destinations in the country, with a delegation from Turismo Porto e Norte de Portugal dedicated to monitoring the health and wellness product in the municipality.

Useful Information

Nuno Vaz Ribeiro
Águas Frias, Anelhe, Bustelo, Calvão e Soutelinho da Raia, Cimo de Vila da Castanheira, Curalha, Eiras, São Julião de Montenegro e Cela, Ervededo, Faiões, Lama de Arcos, Loivos e Póvoa de Agrações, Madalena e Samaiões, Mairos, Moreiras, Nogueira da Montanha, Oura, Outeiro Seco, Paradela, Planalto de Monforte, Redondelo, Sanfins, Santa Cruz/Trindade e Sanjurge, Santa Leocádia, Santa Maria Maior, Santo António de Monforte, Santo Estêvão, São Pedro de Agostém, São Vicente, Soutelo e Seara Velha, Travancas e Roriz, Tronco, Vale de Anta, Vidago, Vila Verde da Raia, Vilar de Nantes, Vilarelho da Raia, Vilas Boas, Vilela do Tâmega, Vilela Seca
37.590 Inhabitants (Census 2021 INE)
Geographic Area (Km2)
+351 276 340 500 (Call to the national fixed network)

Roman and Thermal Municipality