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History Monuments

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The Parish of Vera Cruz de Aveiro was created on July 10, 1572,  by the division of the primitive parish of São Miguel de Aveiro into four distinct parishes. And on  present,  one of the two parishes corresponding to the central nucleus of the city of Aveiro,  attaching, for  charter of October 11, 1835,  the old parish of Nossa Senhora da Presentation of Aveiro.


Its parish church is today the Church of Our Lady of the Presentation of Aveiro, formerly the parish church of the extinct parish of Nossa Senhora da Presentation of Aveiro.


It has annexed five more chapels under its jurisdiction, namely: the Capela de São Gonçalo de Aveiro, in the Beira-Mar district; the Chapel of Our  Senhora da Febres, also known as São Roque de Aveiro, next to the São Roque canal; Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Alegria, also called São Sebastião, former headquarters of the ancient Confraternity of sailors and fishermen of Santa  Maria de Sa;  and the Chapel of Senhor Jesus das Barrocas.


  It has the Vera Cruz Parish Social Center, in a building attached to the parish church, established on February 1, 1972. It has the institution Heritage of the Poor, established on March 11, 1969. It has the group of Scouts 283, with São Gonçalo as patron .  


  The parish of Vera Cruz, after the parish division in 1572, then belonged to the territory between Ponte das Almas, in the central channel, Rua Larga and Rua do Vento until the end, the estuary, the stream of Barrocas, the place of Sá and still part of the places of Forca, da Presa and Quinta do Gato, continuing the limit along the Côjo channel until the said bridge of Almas. In this way, it was bordered by the parishes of Nossa Senhora da Presentation to the west, Esgueira to the north, and São Miguel to the south. However, in the judicial forum, almost the entire place of Sá belonged to Ílhavo.  



Churches corresponding to the former parish of Vera Cruz de Aveiro in the 18th century

Source: IGC – Fragment of the map “Planta da Cidade de Aveiro” 1780-81 (IGP, nº390)


   Its primitive parish church, located in Largo de Maia Magalhães, popularly called "Largo da Vera Cruz", was being built in 1576 and still in 1600. In the late 19th century, given its advanced state of disrepair, the building was for being demolished, in obedience to the decision of December 1876, to build in its place a new temple that,  the work having been interrupted due to lack of financial resources, saw its walls, already at the height of the cymbal, dismantled in 1945 by the municipal chamber. However, the parish headquarters, the administration of the sacraments and the liturgical worship had been provisionally transferred, while the construction work lasted, to the neighboring church of Nossa Senhora da Presentation. Since then, until today, the parish headquarters remained in the parish church of Nossa Senhora da Presentation, currently the only parish church in the city of Aveiro to escape total demolition.  


   According to Rangel de Quadros, the demolished parish church of Vera Cruz was vast and had three naves, formed with five arches on each side, similar to those of Salreu and Angeja. The ceiling of the chancel, which continued towards the sacristy that was behind it, was developed in limestone vault in coffered, and was enriched with finials and allegorical figures, in the same stone, of which there are  nowadays  some pieces in the Aveiro Museum. Leaning against the columns on which the crossing arch rested, they were, on pedestals,  two statues of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, which exist today, are also in the aforementioned Museum. The said arch was decorated with a beautiful gilded valance with fleurons, executed in 1846, which,  after the demolition of the temple, it was sold to the parish church of Salreu. The main altarpiece, which was no longer the original one, was transferred to the parish church of Nossa Senhora da Glória, former convent of São Domingos de Aveiro, where it is located. In addition to the main altarpiece, the temple had the following altarpieces: next to the crossing arch, the altar of Senhor do Terço or Senhor Jesus do Bendito and the altar of Nossa Senhora da Luz; in the body of the church, the altar of Souls or Nossa Senhora dos Anjos, to which corresponded, on the opposite side, the chapel and altar of the Blessed Sacrament.


   By annexing the parish of Nossa Senhora da Presentation de Aveiro, in 1835, the territory between the Central Channel of the ria and the entire marine area, which today we call the Bairro da Beira-Mar, also belonged to it, also annexing the territory of São Jacinto beach. Most of the fishermen and sailors of Aveiro and workers of the salt seas, marnotos, lived on this peninsula outside the walls of the then fortified Vila, a suburb that came to be called Vila-Nova de Aveiro.  This place, located to the north of the extension of Esteiro da Ribeira and Côjo, today Rossio de Aveiro, had as its main axis  the longitudinal street, which linked the Parish of Nossa Senhora da Presentation to the Parish of Vera Cruz from the end of this peninsula to the place called Sá, bordering the village of Esgueira.

This street, which was originally called Rua Torta, made up of four streets, Rua dos Ourives, Rua de São Paulo, Rua do Carmo and Rua de Sá, would later be called Rua da Vila Nova, Rua da Vera Cruz and currently Rua de Manuel Firmino.  


Already in a document listing the properties that the Monastery of Santa Cruz[2]  de Coimbra owned in Aveiro, dating from 1431, the distinct toponymy of properties in  billa noua da par daueiro, from properties in the logo. of exit. and properties in. agra de saa a sancta cruz. Also for the documentation belonging to the old Confraria de Pescadores de Santa Maria de Sá, in its book of Tombo, in part transcribed by Marques Gomes[3],  we found the reference of  Vila Nova de Aveiro, in a document dated 1441. In this documentation we verify conflicts that date back at least to the beginning of the 19th century. XV, between the people of the municipality (from the walled town) and those of Vila Nova (mostly fishermen, living outside the walls), due to quarrels mainly related to the commercialization of fish[4].  


[1]  NEVES, Francisco Ferreira - The Brotherhood of fishermen and sailors of Aveiro (1200-1855), ADA, vol. 39, 156 (1973), pp. 242-243  [two]  in Milenário de Aveiro – Collection of Historical Documents I – 959 to 1516, Aveiro, Ed. Aveiro City Council, 1959. p. 170  [3]  GOMES, António Marques – Subsidies for the History of Aveiro, Aveiro, 1899. p.24-25  [4]  in Milenário de Aveiro – Collection of Historical Documents I – 959 to 1516, Aveiro, Ed. Aveiro City Council, 1959. p. 163  



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