The history of Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, and its development as a maritime trade and fishing hub, have been greatly influenced by its location at the entrance to one of Portugal's best natural ports.
Permanent settlement in the coastal plain of Póvoa de Varzim dates back to around four to six thousand years ago; around 900 BC, unrest in the region led to the establishment of a fortified city.
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Since the 18th century, its beaches have helped it become one of the main tourist areas of the region, which prompted high-culture development since late 18th century.
In its history its development suffered setbacks due to feudalism, monastic domain, border disputes and, recently, the development of a highly centralized state.
Discoveries of Acheulean stone tools suggest Póvoa de Varzim has been inhabited since the Lower Palaeolithic, around 200,000 BC.
The earliest artifacts, dating to the Paleolithic, were found in Northern Aver-o-Mar, proving the strong attractiveness that the ocean played since very remote eras.
The first groups of shepherds settled on the coast where Póvoa de Varzim is now located between the 4th millennium and early 2nd millennium BC.
Their dead were deposited in tumuli, which are the oldest monuments found in the municipality.
The necropolis, with seven tumuli, dated to end of the Neolithic, early chalcolithic. The City prospered due to its strong defensive walls and its location near the ocean, which facilitated trade with the maritime civilizations of the Mediterranean Sea, especially during the Carthaginian dominion of the southern Iberian Peninsula.
Four around São Félix Hill, all have been broken, and three around Cividade Hill, including Mamoa de Sejães, in the hillside, that is still unopened after thousands of years of settlement. The city had some urbanization stages: during the first centuries, the small habitations were constructed with adobe mixed with vegetable additive.
The first constructions made out of rock started to appear in the 5th century B.
C., The visits of Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and Romans had as porpoise the exchange of textiles and wine for gold and tin, despite the scarcity of terrestrial ways, this was not a problem for Cividade de Terroso that was strategically located next to the sea and by the Ave River, thus an extensive trade existed in the city.
The external commerce, dominated by tin, was complemented with domestic trade in tribal markets between the different cities and villages of the Castro culture, they exchanged textiles, metals (gold, copper, tin and lead) and handicrafts including exotic products, such as glass or exotic ceramics, brought from trading with the peoples of the Mediterranean or other areas of the Peninsula.