Bombarral (Portuguese pronunciation: [bõbɐˈʁal] (About this soundlisten)) is a municipality in the District of Leiria in Central Portugal. The population in 2011 was 13,193,[1] in an area of 91.29 square kilometres (35.25 sq mi).[2] It includes four civil parishes (Portuguese: freguesia) that provide local services.

The view from the Serra de Montejunto, overlooking Bombarral
The view from the Serra de Montejunto, overlooking Bombarral
Flag of Bombarral
Coat of arms of Bombarral
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 39°16′5″N 9°9′19″W / 39.26806°N 9.15528°W / 39.26806; -9.15528Coordinates: 39°16′5″N 9°9′19″W / 39.26806°N 9.15528°W / 39.26806; -9.15528
Country Portugal
Intermunic. comm.Oeste
 • PresidentJosé Manuel Vieira
 • Total91.29 km2 (35.25 sq mi)
34 m (112 ft)
 • Total13,193
 • Density140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC±00:00 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+01:00 (WEST)
Postal code
Area code262
PatronSão Pedro


Painting of the Battle of Roliça, showing French troops in the hilltops attacking the much larger British force in the valley

It is known that the area of Bombarral was occupied during the geological period, and there exist vestiges of human settlement throughout the municipality, including pre-historic remnants in Gruta Nova, Lapa do Suão and the Neolithic fortifications of Columbeira and the Castro de São Mamede.[3]

Most documented references to Bombarral begin in the 14th century, when the area was under the dominion of the Monastery of Alcobaça.

With the creation of Portugal, King Afonso Henriques donated the lands to Cistercian monks, around 1153.[3] Before, the Battle of Aljubarrota King John of Portugal stayed in Bombarral with his Knight, Luís Henriques, in the strong-house that would later be converted into the municipality's council hall.[3]

In the 18th century it was recognized as "Queens lands", and part of the municipality of Cadaval until 1852. During the Peninsular War, 15000 Anglo-Portuguese troops confronted a much smaller army of French infantry and cavalry (5000 total) in Roliça in the first engagement by British forces.[3] The Battle of Roliça, along the northern frontier with Óbidos, was a confrontation between English General Arthur Wellesley and French General Henri François, Comte Delaborde, who were sent by General Jean-Andoche Junot, to harass and hold British forces until a much larger force could confront the English. The valleys and gullies of Roliça allowed the small French contingent to confront the much larger British force, yet they were unable to defeat them. Although successful, Wellesley did not press the fleeing French troops (who withdrew to Montachique near Torres Vedras), and instead went to support the landing of 4000 troops arriving from England along the coast.

The railway connecting Bombarral to Lisbon and Leiria came in 1887, starting a period of accelerated economic development.

Until 1914, Bombarral was a parish of the municipality of neighbouring Óbidos. The present-day municipality was created that year.


Physical geographyEdit

Bombarral is situated in a privileged geographic region in the extreme southern part of the District of Leiria, in the centre of Western Tourist Region (Portuguese: Região de Turismo do Oeste), 75 kilometres from Lisbon and 20 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. The municipality is limited to the north by the municipalities of Óbidos, to the northeast by Caldas da Rainha, southeast by Cadaval and west by Lourinhã.

Bombarral is situated on an alluvial plain that is fertile, with a gentle topography of lowlands.

Human geographyEdit

Population of
Bombarral Municipality
(1849 - 2011)
1920 11,206—    
1930 12,669+13.1%
1960 15,209+20.0%
1981 13,758−9.5%
1991 12,727−7.5%
2001 13,324+4.7%
2011 13,193−1.0%

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 4 civil parishes (freguesias):[4]

  • Bombarral e Vale Covo
  • Carvalhal
  • Roliça

The A8 is the primary thoroughfare connecting Bombarral with its neighbours.

The rock-covered hilltop of the Serra de Montejunto

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

Bombarral is twinned with:


The base of economic activity is agriculture with vineyards predominating, although several crops are routinely rotated within the fields of the municipality.


  • Ester de Lemos, writer and translator, was born in Bombarral in 1929. She was a member of the National Assembly of Portugal between 1965 and 1969.


  1. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. ^ "Áreas das freguesias, concelhos, distritos e país". Archived from the original on 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  3. ^ a b c d Câmara Municipal, ed. (2011). "A Nossa Identidade" [Our Identity] (in Portuguese). Bombarral, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de Bombarral. Retrieved 7 April 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, page 552 25" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit