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Vila Nova de Milfontes

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Vila Nova de Milfontes is a civil parish in the municipality of Odemira of the Portuguese Alentejo region. The population in 2011 was 5,031, in an area of 76.48 km².HistoryOne of the older parishes in the municipality, it was founded in 1485 by King John II, the area was constituted to serve an economic and defensive role in the Alentejo, at the confluence of the Mira River, and benefitted from its strategic importance as a safe harbour. The first inhabitants were prisoners sentenced by minor crimes; 50 years after it was established the population of the parish was little more than ten families.The village was frequently attacked by pirates, and destroyed completely in 1590, resulting in the construction of fortress, around 1602: the Fort of São Clemente (Forte de São Clemente), which was constructed between 1599 and 1602 (during the reign of King Phillip II).During the 19th century, the parish was integrated into the municipality of Odemira, during the administrative reforms of Mouzinho da Silveira.Vila Nova do Milfontes was involved in Portuguese aviation, being one of the first points between Portugal and Macau, completed by Brito Paes (a citizen of Colos in Vila Nova de Milfontes) and Sarmento Beires. On 7 April 1924, these pilots left Campo dos Coitos, near Milfontes on their voyage to the Far East. In hommage to the aviators and their historic flight, in the Praça da Barbacã (alongside the fort), a monument was erected to mark their voyage.GeographyVila Nova de Milfontes is located along the western coast of Atlantic Ocean on the northern margin of the Mira River, falling within the Nature Park of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast. Vila Nova de Milfontes is dominated by a large estuary and ecosystem, dominated by the Mira River that gives shelter to several species of birds and marine life, in addition to wild boar and fox in the surrounding woods.
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