Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Travel to Vila Nova de Gaia

Vila Nova de Gaia is a city the Douro Litoral region of Northern Portugal, immediately facing Porto across the Duoro river, with both cities forming the core of a contiguous metropolitan area together. Vila Nova was created out of the need to house the workers of Porto, and is thus much more residential in character - and, in fact, statistically more populous than Porto itself. Sometimes called "Gaia" in common parlance, the city is home of cellars of port wine, several shopping centers and some of the best beaches.

Vila Nova de Gaia (VEE-luh NAW-vuh d(ih) GAHY-uh, /ˈvi.ɫɐ ˈnɔ.vɐ dɨ ˈgaj.ɐ/) is actually where the history of Porto began, having been founded as a Roman settlement called Cale on the southern side of the river Douro. The town had a its port on the other side of the river, referred to as Portus Cale, which originated the name not only of Porto, but also the whole country. What followed the Roman Empire were the Moorish invasions of the Iberian peninsula, with the Moors stopping right at the river and most inhabitants escaping the invasion by moving to what is now Porto on its northern bank. After the Moors were driven out, many moved back to the southern back, founding what is now known as Vila Nova de Gaia (vila nova as the town was reestablished, with Gaia being a transliteration of Cale).



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