Subdivisions of Portugal
The subdivisions of Portugal are based on a complicated administrative structure. The second-level administrative division, after the 5 regions and 2 autonomous regions, is 308 municipalities (concelhos) which are further subdivided into 3091 civil parishes (freguesias).
Administrative divisions of PortugalEdit
Subdivisions of PortugalEdit
|Regions||5||5||Territorial divisions of the continental unitary state|
|Autonomous Regions||2||0||Sub-territorial divisions comprising Azores and Madeira|
|Subregions||25||23||Autonomous and sub-regional co-ordination commissions (CCDR)|
|Civil Parishes||3091||2882||Local area authorities|
In Portugal, urban centers (cities, towns and hamlets) have no legal authority and are social constructs based on a series of institutional functions. In fact, administrative power lies within the extraterritorial municipalities and parishes. These have authority in the constitution and may include various towns within each territory and may have their own constituent assemblies and executives. The town or city, generally, does not correspond to the boundaries of various municipalities, with the exception of the entirely urban municipalities (such as Lisbon, Porto, Funchal, Amadora, Entroncamento and São João da Madeira). The municipality with the most cities is Paredes Municipality which contains four cities.
|Metropolitan areas||2||2||Agglomerations of metropolitan or urban regions|
|Intermunicipal communities||21||21||Association of municipal authorities for coordination|
Former subdivisions of PortugalEdit
|Province (Medieval)||6||6||1325 territorial administration instituted by Afonso IV|
|Province (1832)||11||8||1823 reorganization attributed to Mouzinho da Silveira|
|Province (1936)||11||11||1936 reorganization based on nationalist geographer Amorim Girão|
|Districts||18||18||1835 reorganization based on prefectures: phased-out in 20th century|
|NUTS 1: National||3||1||Continental Portugal, the Azores and Madeira|
|NUTS 2: Regions||7||5||Regional Coordination Commissions, and Autonomous Regions|
|NUTS 3: Subregion||25||23||Metropolitan areas, intermunicipal communities and autonomous regions|
|LAU 1: Municipal||308||278||Municipalities|
|LAU 2: Local||3092||2882||Civil Parishes|
|Postal codes||9||8||First-digit postal codes|
|Area codes||51||48||Telephone area codes|
Due to changes throughout history, the Portuguese unitary state has seen a continuous process of centralisation and de-centralisation, resulting in changes to the toponomy of various territorial divisions. Consequently, the many names have been appropriated at different levels to represent alterations to the geographic map of the country. This is particularly the case with the transitive period between the medieval provinces and 19th century Liberal reforms. Further, the influence of the Nationalist movement during the 20th century, resulted in the re-appearance of toponymic names long since abandoned.
The modern unitary state is influenced considerable by names passed between generations, and have been applied and re-applied, resulting in a historical ambiguity in the historical record, where one name may be used for two different areas. As is the case with the following examples:
- Minho: Province / Subregion
- Alto Alentejo: Province / Subregion
- Baixo Alentejo: Province / Subregion
- Douro Litoral: Province / Subregion
- Trás-os-Montes: region / Province
- Estremadura Province: two different ones
- Beira Litoral: postal region, 1936 province
Even between administrative level there several instances where the same name is used to represent a territorial division at the local, municipal or regional level.
- Gwillim Law (1999). "Portugal". Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. US: McFarland & Company. pp. 296+. ISBN 0786407298.