São Vicente (Madeira)
Pico da Cova, a large escarpment overlooking where legend says Saint Vincent of Saragossa appeared to the religious faithful, inspiring the naming of the settlement, later municipality
|Official name: Concelho de São Vicente|
|Name origin: Portuguese for Vincent of Saragossa|
|Civil Parishes||Boa Ventura, Ponta Delgada, São Vicente|
|- elevation||379 m (1,243 ft)|
|Lowest point||Sea level|
|- location||Atlantic Ocean|
|- elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Length||11.87 km (7 mi), West-East|
|Width||8.74 km (5 mi), Northwest-Southeast|
|Area||78.81 km2 (30 sq mi)|
|Density||78.64 / km2 (204 / sq mi)|
|- Municipality||c. 1744|
|- location||Paços do Município, Vila de São Vicente, São Vicente|
|- elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|President||Jorge Orlando César de Jesus Romeira (PPD-PSD)|
|Municipal Chair||Elias Manuel Soares Medeiros (PPD-PSD)|
|- summer (DST)||WEST (UTC+1)|
|ISO 3166-2 code||PT-|
|Postal Zone||9240-225 São Vicente|
|Area Code & Prefix||(+351) 291 XXX XXX|
|Patron Saint||Vicente de Saragoça|
|Municipal Address||Paços do Município, Vilda de São Vicente
9240-225 São Vicente
|Municipal Holidays||22 January|
Location of the municipality of São Vicente in the archipelago of Madeira
|Wikimedia Commons: São Vicente (Madeira)|
|Statistics from INE (2001); geographic detail from Instituto Geográfico Português (2010)|
The first human visitors to São Vicente appeared in the middle of the 15th century, colonizing the area much later than the settlers in the southern part of the island, owing to its fertility. This area of the island, due to its steep escarpments and deep river-valleys made early settlement difficult. The first settlers appeared in the areas of São Vicente and Ponta Delgada, respectively.
The progressive growth of its population lead to dis-annexation of São Vicente from the Captaincy of Machico, and elevation to municipal seat by royal charter on 23 August 1774. At that time the parishes of Porto Moniz, Seixal, Arco de São Jorge and São Jorge where under the administration of the municipal authority.
In 1835, the restructuring of municipal government under the Liberal reformer Mouzinho da Silveira lead to the creation of two new municipalities (Santana and Porto Moniz) along the northern coast of Madeira, which reduced the area of São Vicente. But, by 1867, under decree it reverted to its former dimensions. In 1898, with the re-establishment of the former municipalities São Vicente began to function within the current territorial area.
A legend exists that the toponomic name of the region, developed from an incident where Saint Vincent of Saragossa appeared in a rocky cove near the mouth of the river. Consequently, the settlers constructed a small chapel to the saint, owing to the great devotion to his personage.
The municipality includes three civil parishes, that handle local government administration:
- Boaventura - physically the largest parish, but with the smallest population density, it is located in the northeast coast of the municipality, and ultimately the last to be settled;
- Ponta Delgada - a small parish, nestled between two promontories;
- São Vicente - the largest parish in population and density, home to the municipal seat; it had a population of approximately 3439 (in 2001) in an area of 17.80 km² (its density was approximately 193 inhabitants per km²).
São Vicente has a few schools, a few lyceums, a gymnasium, banks, a post office, a small port, beaches and squares or plazas (praças).
The main sources of industry are agriculture and fishing, although it has begun to promote itself as a rural tourism destination.
- Gregório Joaquim Diniz (c. 1863 - 20 December 1931) - doctor, Sub-Delegate for Health, and involved in the first hydro-electrical production facility on the island of Madeira, at Pé de Corrida.
- "História do Concelho" (in Portuguese). São Vicente (Madeira), Portugal: Câmara Municipal de São Vicente.
- Boletim Municipal (April 2005), p.4
- Boletim Municipal (August 2005), p.23
- Vieira, Alberto (April 2005). "O Município: Evolução e Configuração dos Poderes a Partir do Caso de São Vicente". In CMVS. Boletim Municipal: São Vicente (in Portuguese). São Vicente (Madeira), Portugal: Câmara Municipal de São Vicente.
- Vieira, Alberto (August2005). "Gregório Joaquim Diniz (1863-1931)". In CMVS. Boletim Municipal: São Vicente (in Portuguese). São Vicente (Madeira), Portugal: Câmara Municipal de São Vicente.