My hometown

Today you’ll be introduced to the only town I’ve ever lived for more than a few days. I spent my 6th year here. The year I went to school. The year I lived as any other child. The year I’ve made some memorable memories.
Back then, we lived in two different places. The first one was maybe a mile or two from Figueira da Foz, in a neighbourhood called Buarcos. We had a small appartment on a 4th floor. That’s when I started going to school which was in that neighbourhood. It was a small class, maybe 20 or 30 children. Every row was for a different grade. And one teacher. An old lady who was replaced occasionally when she was sick. She was called Donna Emilia. A few months later mom and dad found another appartment which was here in Figueira, it was a big one, much brighter too and was on the 9th floor of a bigger building. Unfortunately you won’t be seeing the building neither Buarcos as I didn’t have enough time to go there. But you’ll be seeing the main town where we came to pick up the post or to the market.

The market place you’ll see at the end of the video is where mom and I came every week as there weren’t any supermarkets at the time. Outside there were widows selling roasted chestnuts. There were times mom bought some. They were hot and yummy. And then we headed home.
Yeah…. it was long ago….

That one is my neighborhood, too far for me to go there now.

According to the legend the place’s name is due to a fig tree, which stood at the quay of Salmanha, where the fishermen used to tie up their boats. The historian Nelson Borges said, however, that Figueira comes from the word “fagaria”, which means “opening, huge mouth”. Foz comes from the Latin word “fouces” = “mouth of a river”, and Mondego comes from the pre-romanic expressions “mond” = “mouth” and “aec”= “river”. That means, Figueira da Foz would be “the river’s mouth opening”. Some historical traces show that people were settling in this region since the Neolithic age. The oldest known document, however, dates from the year 1096.

Knowing the great importance rivers had in the development of cities and of ancient civilizations, the mouth of the Mondego must have played a central role for the fixation of men in this region and for the formation of settlements, which were the beginning of the city of Figueira da Foz.

It had a huge development during the 18th and 19th centuries due to the immense port movements and the expansion of the shipbuilding and cod drying industry, supplying the city with new communication routes, housing and other facilities. It was elevated to vila (small town) on 12 March 1771 and turned city (cidade) on 20 September 1882. Discovered as a sea resort by the end of the 19th century, it gained great reputation in the 1920s and 1930s. The city had the Portuguese nickname of Rainha das Praias (Queen of the Beaches).

The municipality has some noted landmarks like the Sotto Mayor Palace, the old fishing village of Buarcos, the Serra da Boa Viagem – a small forested mountain by the Atlantic Ocean, and a long beach!

I’d like to tag

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Mel Gutiér (fictioninmyhead.com)
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if you want to write a post about your hometown feel free.