Gondomar: history, location, the city's coat, food and economy
History of Gondomar
Gondomar, his name has strong historical roots. Some findings reveal the old roots of civilization since the pre-historic. The gold mine exploration in the surrounding regions and the strategic position of "Crasto", confirm the permanence of the Romans in these lands.
Between other versions, the name "Gondomar" is awarded to the Visigod King "Gundemaro" who is said to here, in 610, founded a “Couto”. Even though there are no traces of the Visigod Knights, Gondomar received the first royal letter (Foro) in 1193, from D. Sancho I whom, later on, was confirmed by the King D. Afonso II through inquires. The Monarch "made the honor of Gondomar" to D. Soeiro Reymondo, whom here had a solar.
From his recognized patrimony, highlights the Igreja Matriz, which overgoes their altars and roofs. In the Sacristy you can observe the image of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, of XVI century, and the panel of S. Cristóvão, from the century of XVII. Reference also for the “Capela de Santo António”.
The district of Gondomar fits in the Douro Litoral region, being part of District of Porto, in the right coast of Rio Douro, east of Cidade do Porto. Gondomar belongs to the Metropolitan area of Porto, being considered as the fourth biggest district from Porto. It's limited to North, with the districts of Porto, Maia, Valongo, Paredes and Penafiel, and South with Vila Nova de Gaia, Santa Maria da Feira, Arouca and Castelo de Paiva. In his 138.72Km2, it has 170.000 inhabitants, distributed around 12 Customs.
Coat Of Arms
Weapons: In black, with the filigree in gold enameled in blue, with one garland of 8 ears of gold wheat, sustained and forged with the same. Mural Crown in silver, with 5 towers, white Lintel marked with "Município de Gondomar" in black.
Flag: 8 garland pieces in yellow and blue. Cord and tassels in gold and blue. Golden flagpole and cord.
Seal: Circular, in the center the pieces of weapons, with no mark from the enamel. Around it, inside the consentric circles, written "Município de Gondomar"
Since the main enamels of the weapons are in gold and blue, the flag is yellow (which matches the gold) and blue.
When destinated to Ceremonies, the flag is forged in silk and must have the area of a square meter; when its to raise, it must have the necessary size, and the weapon representation might be excluded.
The black indicated to the weapon field, the enamel which in the heraldry symbolizes the land and means firmness, obedience, honesty and courtesy.
The filigree Heart, representing the local industries and meaning the artistic feeling with which this industry is executed in Gondomar, its from gold, metal that rises the city name, and the most important meaning of the heraldry is nobility, faith, wisdom, fidelity, power and freedom. The heart is enameled in blue, and the enamel means zeal, loyalty and charity.
The wheat and ears garland, symbolizes the regional agriculture fortune, its of gold, which meant was described before.
Thanks to an intimate relationship with the rio Douro, Gondomar has strong gastronomic traditions. The "Sável" and lamprey are the most existing menus in the district in the period between January and April.An highlight to "Lampreia à Bordalesa", the "Arroz de Lampreia", the "Sável no Espeto" and the "Açorda de Milharas". As well as important, the tradicional "Sopa de Nabos", which the city's inhabitants won't refuse in the Party of Gondomar (September to October). In the Sweets, highlights the infaous "Bolinhos de Nozes à Moda de Gondomar".
Economy "The Jewelry Capital"
The Jewelry is the main activity of the District. Due the tradition of the inhabitants, this is the best art that makes up Gondomar, awarding the title of "Capital da Ourivesaria" – “The Jewelry Capital”.
This title is being well helded in an admirable Marketing strategy, whom has been expanded his fame in the art of working the gold, to all around the world, in such way that when someone speaks in jewelry, in that right moment someone reefers to Portugal and their "Fonte de Artesãos", the city of Gondomar.
The importance of the sector and their continues are guaranteed.
Not only the jewelry has been having an important role in the economy of the District, also the art of wood-working has been always hands shacked with Gondomar. It's never enough to say how easily these craftsman can transform a piece of wood or tree roots in a beautiful piece of art.In some locations like the “Igreja Matriz of S. Cosme” you can observe valuable pieces made by the Gondomar craftsman.
O "Centro de Formação Profissional da Indústria da Ourivesaria e Relojoaria - CINDOR", was founded with the purpose of educating new artists for this form of art. The filigree, in gold and silver, are good examples of how good well people work in Gondomar, and takes a notable place in the jewelry section and actually is the center of its production in Portugal.
Also the building industry, the textile and the agriculture are strong in the district, not forgetting the comerce, side by side to the progress that has been verified in the district.
The history of the district (economicly speaking), is mostly made of mining, which was of extreme importance for the economy of the district for a long time. Historical documents describe that the gold mines have been explored by the Romans who used countless slaves.
It's with alot of nostalgy that still today their inhabitants remind the mining activity as an important role in the labor sector of the inhabitants of the S. Pedro da Cova customs.
Nowadays, the mines are totil extinguished. But in the past (not that far away) it was taken tons of coal from his loaded natural deposit. Whoever has curiosity of getting to know this activity could visit the "Museu Mineiro" in S. Pedro da Cova.