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Costa da Caparica

Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing · Stand-Up Paddleboarding · Landmarks
Costa da Caparica is a Portuguese civil parish, located in the municipality of Almada along the western coast of the district of Sétubal. The population in 2011 was 13,418, in an area of 10.18 km². Since December 2004, the Costa da Caparica has been designated as city within the urban hierarchy of Portugal.HistoryThe toponymy Caparica developed from a legend about an old woman who lived between Almada and the ocean, over cliffs of Sul do Tejo. The old woman, thin and frail, wore a multi-coloured patchwork cape to protect herself from the cold, and who pandered to the local people of the small hamlet in which she lived. Many assumed she was a witch and miser, who guarded a fortune, but who, nonetheless never missed mass (travelling long distances between mountains and valleys while huddling on the side-roads under her cape) and regularly panhandled in the streets. One day, after a long absence, the local villagers went to her humble cabana, where they discovered the body of the old woman within her cape and with a letter to the King. Presented with the letter and her cape, the King was surprised by the old woman's request to have him build a Church for the local people of her village. The King immediately ordered the cape destroyed, but was astonished to see gold coins falling from the cape. With the money he fulfilled the old woman's request from the rich bounty of her cape. From there the name Capa-Rica developed, for capa (cape) and rica (rich), which became associated with the region.Legend suggests that, in 1800, the Costa da Caparica was the site for the Casa da Coroa (the first house of rock and limestone) which received its importance for a little-known fact. It was believed that King John VI of Portugal in 1824 had eaten a delicious seafood stew, and for that reason, he ordered that the royal coat-of-arms be raised on the local fountain. Similarly, the site was the supposed way-point on journeys involving Queen Maria II of Portugal and King Pedro V of Portugal and his Royal Consort, who travelled through the Costa de Caparica on unrelated trips.
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