Nazare Beach Portugal Portugese fish port fishing

- Image ID: A1MMW4
Nazare Beach Portugal Portugese fish port fishing
Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: A1MMW4
Nazare is a municipality in Portugal with a total area of 82,4 km² and a total population of 14,904 inhabitants. According to legend, the city would derive its name from a Maria statue brought here by a monk in the 4th century from Nazareth, Palestine. It has become a popular tourist attraction, advertising itself as a pictoresque seaside village. Located at the Estramaduran coast of the Atlantic, it has long sandy beaches (among the best beaches of Portugal) that are crowded with tourists in the summer. The city used to be known for its traditional costumes of the fishermen. Their wives were dressed in black, wearing the traditional headscarve and embroidered aprons over seven flannel skirts in different colours. These dresses can still occasionally be seen. The city consists of three parts : A Praia (along the beach), O Sítio (the old town, on a hilltop, that can be reached by funicular) and Pederneira (on another hilltop). The original settlement was in Sítio on the rock face 110 m above the beach. It was their safe base against raids of Algerian, French, English and Dutch pirates that lasted even till the beginning of the 19th century. The Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré was built to commemorate the miraculous intervention in saving the life of a 12th century knight. The unusual and ancient design of the fishing boats, with the Phoenician signs on their soaring pointed bow, refers to the Phoenician descent of the inhabitants of Nazaré. These fishing boats are no longer being hauled in on the beaches by oxen, but lie now in the new harbour, just south of Nazaré.