An extract on #artsanity
The 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.
The territory was part of the parish of Caprica until 1926, before becoming an enclave Trafaria until 1949. The urban agglomeration was classified as a town on 9 July 1985, and elevated to the status of city on 9 December 2004.
It was the only freguesia in Almada which has not suffered any changes with the administrative reform of 2013.
Situate on the occidental coast of the Peninsula of Setbal, the territory is the result of ocean receding, covering an area of 10.18 km between the water and main escarpment. The space is one large beach resulting from progressive decline from the east to the sea. Its coastal extent represents the largest contiguous beach in Portugal, with an expanse of approximately 30 kilometres, from the left margin of the Tagus River to the estuary of Albufeira. Popular in the summer with tourists and local visitors, the beaches have suffered from erosion in recent years; several levels of Portuguese government have taken steps to reduce these patterns, but the erosion has continued at several of the beaches located closest to the mouth of the Tagus.