About Tondela

Tondela is a municipality and a city in the Tondela-Viseu district of central Portugal. The city has a population of 35,479 (2011), and the municipality has a population of 54,267 (2011). It is the seat of the Tondela Municipality. The present Mayor is António de Jesus Rodrigues, elected by the Portuguese Communist Party. The municipal holiday is October 12. Tondela is served by two national highways, the N103 which connects Tondela with Vila Nova de Gaia and Vila do Conde and the N122 which connects Tondela with Vila Real and Chaves. Tondela is also served by an inter-city bus service which links the city with Coimbra and Lisbon. The nearest airport is in Porto (90 km/56 mi) and the nearest international airport is in Lisbon (200 km/124 mi). Tondela is twinned with:[3] Elvas, Portugal Ílhavo, Portugal Mondim de Basto, Portugal The municipality of Tondela was created in 1836. The local economy is based on agriculture (especially wine-making), livestock, wood transformation and tourism. The city of Tondela lies on the right bank of the River Tâmega, in the foothills of the Serra do Caramulo. It is about midway between the cities of Porto and Lisbon, in the Tâmega subregion of the Centro region. The municipality includes several small villages and towns, notably Baião, Celorico de Basto, Resende, Vila Nova de Paiva, Vila Nova de Gaia, Vila do Conde, Vila Real and Chaves. The area around Tondela has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, as attested by the many dolmens and menhirs that dot the landscape. In Roman times, the region was part of the province of Lusitania. The town of Tondela itself was founded in the 9th century, by the Moors. It was taken from them by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, in 1147. Tondela was once an important stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain. The English poet and writer Robert Southey (1774-1843) visited Tondela in 1809 and wrote enthusiastically about the town and its surroundings.