The city
Aveiro is situated on the estuary of Vouga river and is surrounded by a system of marshlands that run 50km parallel to the sea. Famous town's canals where colourfully painted moliceiro boats sail, bridges and pastel-coloured houses are somewhat reminiscent of Amsterdam and at the centre of it all is a bustling fish market. Deserving special mention: Cathedral (15th-18th centuries) and Gothic cross, Misericórdia Church and São Bartolomeu Chapel, 18th-century churches of Santo António and São Gonçalo, and the Regional Museum, housed in the ancient Convento de Jesus.
The town of Aveiro was an important medieval port until a great storm in the 1570s saw the mouth of the Vouga silt up, leaving Aveiro stranded in a marshland that heralded fever, rather than prosperity. The population of Aveiro reduced to 25 per cent of its previous size over the next two hundred years. Until the Barra Canal was built in 1808, the future looked bleak. The canal linked the town and sea once more and the marshes drained away, leaving the lagoons that you can still see today. These lagoons provide the town with salt pans, seaweed (for fertilizer) and fish, all of which power the local economy.