Vila de Loriga

Loriga - Serra da Estrela - Portugal

Mais de 2600 anos de existência, vila desde o século XII e capital da neve em Portugal


Loriga is an ancient, beautiful and historic  portuguese town,

located in the Serra da Estrela mountains.

Known as Lobriga by the Lusitanians and Lorica by the Romans,

it is more than 2600 years old.

Notable people from Loriga include Viriathus ( known as Viriato in

Portuguese ), a famous Lusitanian leader and portuguese national hero.

Loriga as enormous touristics potentialities and they are the only

ski resort and ski trails existing in Portugal  ( Loriga is the Lusian Capital and the

capital of the snow in Portugal ).

Loriga is a small town in Portugal located in Guarda District.

Loriga is 20 km away from  Seia, 40 km away from Viseu, 80 km away

from Guarda and 320 km from Lisbon. It is nestled in the Serra da Estrela

mountain range.

It is known as the "Portuguese Switzerland" due to its landscape: a small town

surrounded by mountains.

Known to be settled by the Lusitanians, the town is more than 2600 years old and

was part of the Roman province of Lusitania. It was known as Lobriga by the

Lusitanians and Lorica by the Romans.

Loriga became a textile manufacturing center in the begin-19th century. While that

industry has since dissipated, today the town attracts a sizable tourist trade

due to its picturesque scenery and vicinity to the Serra da Estrela Ski Resort, the only

ski center in Portugal, totally inside the town limits.

Coordinates: 40°19′13.69″N 7°39′58.15″W / 40.3204694°N 7.6661528°W /

40.3204694; -7.6661528


Civil Parish (Vila)

The valley parish of Loriga in the shadow of the Serra da Estrela

Official name: Vila de Loriga

Country - Portugal

Region - Centro, Portugal

Subregion - Serra da Estrela

District - Guarda

Municipality - Seia

Localities - Fontão, Loriga

Landmark - Torre (Serra da Estrela)

Rivers - Ribeira de São Bento, Ribeira de Loriga

Center Loriga

- elevation1,293 m (4,242 ft)

- coordinates40°19′13.69″N 7°39′58.15″W / 40.3204694°N 7.6661528°W /

40.3204694; -7.6661528

Length4.21 km (3 mi), Northwest-Southeast

Width13.78 km (9 mi), Southwest-Northeast

Area36.25 km² (14 sq mi)

Population1,367 (2005)

Density37.71 / km² (98 / sq mi)

LAU - Vila/Junta Freguesia

- location - Largo da Fonte do Mouro, Loriga

Timezone - WET (UTC0)

- summer (DST)WEST (UTC+1)

ISO 3166-2 codePT-

Postal Zone - 6270-073 Loriga

Area Code & Prefix(+351) 238 XXX XXX

Demonym - Loriguense or Loricense

Patron Saint - Santa Maria Maior

Parish Address - Largo da Fonte do Mouro, 1019

6270-073 Loriga

Statistics from INE (2001); geographic detail from Instituto Geográfico

Português (2010)

Loriga (Portuguese pronunciation: [loˈɾiɡɐ]) is a small town (Portuguese:

vila) in south-central part of the municipality of Seia, in central

Portugal. Part of the district of Guarda, it is 20 km away from 

Seia, 40 km away from Viseu, 80 km away from Guarda and 320 km from Lisbon,

nestled in the Serra da Estrela mountain range. In 2005, estimates have the

resident population at about 1367 inhabitants, in an area of 36.25 km² that

includes the two localities, Loriga and village of Fontão.


Loriga was

founded originally along a column between ravines where today the historic

centre exists. The site was ostensibly selected more than 2600 years ago, owing

to its defensibility, the abundance of potable water and pasturelands, and

lowlands that provided conditions to practice both hunting and


When the Romans arrived in the region, the settlement was concentrated into two

areas. The larger, older and principal agglomeration was situated in the area of

the main church and Rua de Viriato, fortified with a wall and palisade. The

second group, in the Bairro de São Ginês, were some small homes constructed on

the rocky promintory, which were later appropriated by the Visigoths in order to

construct a chapel. The 1st century Roman road and two bridges (the second

was destroyed in the 17th century after flooding) connected the outpost of

Lorica to the rest of their Lusitanian province. The barrio of São Ginês (São

Gens), a local ex-libris, is the location of the chapel of Nossa Senhora do

Carmo, an ancient Visigothic chapel. São Gens, a Celtic saint, martyred in Arles

na Gália, during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, and over time the locals began

to refer to this saint as São Ginês, due to its easy of pronunciation.

Middle Ages

Loriga was the municipal seat since the 12th century,

receiving forals in 1136 (João Rhânia, master of the Terras de Loriga for over

two decades, during the reign of Afonso Henriques), 1249 (during the reign of

Afonso III), 1474 (under King Afonso V) and finally in 1514 (by King Manuel


Loriga was an ecclesiastical parish of the vicarage of the Royal Padroado and

its Matriz Church was ordered constructed in 1233, by King Sancho II. This

church, was to the invokation of Santa Maria Maior, and constructed over the

ancient small Visigothic chapel (there is a lateral block with Visigoth

inscriptions visible). Constructed in the Romanesque-style it consists of a

three-nave building, with hints of the Sé Velha of Coimbra. This structure was

destroyed during the 1755 earthquake, and only portions of the lateral walls

were preserved.

The 1755 earthquake resulted in significant damage to the town

of Loriga, destroying homes and the parcochial residence, in addition to

opening-up cracks and faults in the town's larger buildings, such as the

historic municipal council hall (constructed in the 13th century). An

emissary of the Marquess of Pombal actually visited Loriga to evaluate the

damage (something that did not happen in other mountainous parishes, even

Covilhã) and provide support.

The residents of Loriga supported the Absolutionist forces of the Infante Miguel

of Portugal against the Liberals, during the Portuguese Liberal Wars, which

resulted in Loriga being abandoned politically after Miguel's explusion by his

brother King Peter. In 1855, as a consequence of its support, it was stripped

of municipal status during the municipal reforms of the 19th century. At the

time of its municipal demise (October 1855), the municipality of Loriga included

the parishes of Alvoco da Serra, Cabeça, Sazes da Beira, Teixeira, Valezim and

Vide, as well as thirty other disincorporated villages.

Loriga was an industrial centre for textile manufacturing during the 19th

century. It was one of the few industrialized centres in the Beira Interior

region, even supplanting Seia until the middle of the 20th century. Only

Covilhã out-preformed Loriga in terms of businesses operating from its lands;

companies such as Regato, Redondinha, Fonte dos Amores, Tapadas, Fândega, Leitão

& Irmãos, Augusto Luís Mendes, Lamas, Nunes Brito, Moura Cabral and Lorimalhas,

among others. The main roadway in Loriga, Avenida Augusto Luís Mendes, is

named for one of the villages most illustrious industrialists. The wool industry

started to decline during the last decades of the 20th century, a factor that

aggravated and accelerated the decline of the region.



locally as the "Portuguese Switzerland" due to its landscape that includes a

principal settlement nestled in the mountains of the Serra da Estrela Natural

Park. It is located in the south-central part of the municipality of Seia,

along the southeast part of the Serra, between several ravines, but specifically

the Ribeira de São Bento and Ribeira de Loriga; it is 20 kilometres from

Seia, 80 kilometres from Guarda and 300 kilometres from the national capital

(Lisbon). A main small town is accessible by the national roadway E.N. 231, that

connects directly to the region of the Serra da Estrela by way of E.N.338 (which

was completed in 2006), or through the E.N.339, a 9.2 kilometre access that

transits some of the main elevations (960 metres near Portela do Arão or Portela

de Loriga, and 1650 metres around the Lagoa Comprida).

The region is carved by U-shaped glacial valleys, modelled by the movement of

ancient glaciers. The main valley, Vale de Loriga was carved by longitudanal

abrasion that also created rounded pockets, where the glacial resistance was

minor. Starting at an altitude of 1991 metres along the Serra da Estrela the

valley descends abruptly until 290 metres above sea level (around Vide), passing

villages such as Cabeça, Casal do Rei and Muro. The central town, Loriga, is

seven kilometres from Torre (the highest point), but the parish is sculpted by

cliffs, alluvial plains and glacial lakes deposited during millennia of glacial

erosion, and surrounded by rare ancient forest that surrounded the lateral

flanks of these glaciers.


Textiles are the principal

local export; Loriga was a hub the textile and wool industries during the

mid-19th century, in addition to being subsistence agriculture responsible for

the cultivation of corn. The Loriguense economy is based on metallurgical

industries, bread-making, commercial shops, restaurants and agricultural support


While that textile industry has since dissipated, the town began to attract a

tourist trade due to its proximity to the Serra da Estrela and Vodafone Ski

Resort (the only ski center in Portugal), which was constructed within the

parish limits.

By António Conde

Loriga - Portugal

Welcome to Loriga

Ligação | Link

Ligação | Link

Ligação | Link

Descubra a história

Lorica lusitanorum castrum est - Lorica lusitanorum civitas est

História de Loriga | History of Loriga

História de Loriga | History of Loriga

História de Loriga | History of Loriga

Esperamos pela sua visita ! | We wait for your visit !

Coordinates: 40°19′13.69″N 7°39′58.15″W / 40.3204694°N 7.6661528°W /

40.3204694; -7.6661528