Amadora (pron. ɐmɐ'doɾɐ) is a city and a municipality in Portugal, in the northwest of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. The city and municipality population is 175,872 in eleven freguesias (parishes). With an area of 23.77 km², it is the most densely populated municipality of Portugal. Amadora is a satellite city of Lisbon, one of the smallest Portuguese municipalities (24 km²), but one of the most populated.

The municipality was formed on September 11, 1979, when it ceased being a parish of Oeiras municipality. It was incorporated as a city since that date.

Amadora is one of the largest cities in Portugal by population. It forms a conurbation with the Portuguese capital Lisbon, and both cities share the same subway, bus and train network. It is also a major residential suburb of the capital, and the landscape is dominated by large apartment blocks and some industry. Amadora is also home to a big community of African immigrants, mostly from Angola and Cape Verde.

Although major rehabilitation plans have been started, Amadora is still regarded as a city with a crime rate relatively higher than the national average, and notorious for its traffic jams.

Every year, Amadora city organizes the Amadora International Comics Festival

About the city flag and coat of arms

Its flag is a typical gyronny of green over white. It includes a 5-towered mural crown, and a scroll that reads "CIDADE DA AMADORA". The shield is green, has in chef a yellowish airplane propeller and a silver windsock, then an aqueduct and below a pomegranate tree also in that yellowish colour of the propeller, with fruits with something red within.

Initially called Porcalhota, for being a Majorat of the daughter of one man surnamed Porcalho who was called for being a female Porcalhota, it later changed its name to the present day one.

At the present time Amadora does not have any airfield. However, in the 1920s a small airfield (the first in Portugal) was located here. The first air-travel from Portugal to Brazil had its departure from Amadora. The Captain of the airplane was Adm. Gago Coutinho, a well known Portuguese celebrity. This justifies the airplane propeller and a silver windsock on the Amadora's flag.

The arches represent the famous Free Waters Aqueduct (Aqueduto das Águas Livres), which brings water from Sintra hills to Lisbon, stretching some 30 km through these three municipalities. It was finished in the 1770s and includes the largest masonry only arch ever built, located in Campolide — local coat of arms also displays the aqueduct (like others along its way).

The tree is a pomegranate tree, one of the Amadora symbols. One possible explanation is somewhat hard to describe in English, but it follows:

  • "Pomegranate" = "Romã" in Portuguese.
  • "Romã", read backwards is "amor" ("love" in Portuguese).
  • "Amadora" means "she-lover", the female that loves ("amadora" is a female noun. In Portuguese, a city usually is a female noun) and also "female amateur".
  • "Amadora"'s name also comes from a well known and very kind lady called Dora who was Ama (Baby-Siter). She was know as the Ama Dora. Then time join both name as Amadora.

Social issues

Although major rehabilitation plans have been started, Amadora is still regarded as a city with a crime rate relatively higher than the national average. The neighborhoods of Cova da Moura and Buraca, in Amadora, are an incredible example of what one might call lateral citizenship. In Cova da Moura and its surroundings, starting during the 1970s and 1980s, in less than 30 years, over 10,000 men and women, mostly from the African islands of Cabo Verde (but also from the North of Portugal, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Eastern Europe), built an illegal town in one of the suburban areas around Lisbon. A large part of the property is private, and a small part is either common ground or it belongs to a solidarity institution. Some violent events took place in 2001 and 2002: by December 2001, a 17-year-old boy was shot dead in his back by the Police; in February 2002 Felisberto, a young black policeman born and grown up in Cova da Moura was shot and killed by drug dealers. These tragic incidents put Cova da Moura on the media map. Drug dealing, gangs and gang wars, as well as unemployment, poverty, underground economy and chaotic urban planning are responsible for most of the fear that Cova da Moura inspires to any average citizen. The place is, however, home to dozens of hairdressers that operate in Cova da Moura and are responsible for some of the most creative hair sculptures one can see everywhere in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, and is a centre of both rap music and Hip Hop Tuga suburban culture.


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