Subregion Grande Lisboa
Population 136,886 (2011)
Metropolitan area Lisbon
Local time Monday 10:54 AM
|Weather 17°C, Wind NE at 18 km/h, 61% Humidity|
Points of interest Tagus, Museu do Ar ‑ Pólo Alverca, Museu Municipal de Vila Fr, Núcleo Museológico de Alverca, Casa Museu Mário Co
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Vila Franca de Xira ([ˈvilɐ ˈfɾɐ̃kɐ ðɨ ˈʃiɾɐ]) is a municipality in the Lisbon District in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 136,886, in an area of 318.19 km². Situated on the west bank of the Tagus River, 32 km north-east of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, Vila Franca de Xira is said to have been founded by French followers of Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, around 1200.
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- Map of Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal
- Visite vila franca de xira cultura e tradi es visit portugal travel tour
Map of Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal
The town is mostly famous for its bull-running festivals in July and October. Bulls are raised in the salty marshlands of the Ribatejo, which is also a notable breeding ground for the magnificent Lusitano horse, esteemed for its quick reflexes and maneuverability.
A number of brightly coloured Portuguese bullfighting costumes are on display in the ethnographic museum in the town's bullring, the Praça de Toiros (or Touros) Palha Blanco. Nearby, the town's Misericórdia church features striking 18th-century azulejos (glazed tiles). The town also has a Museum of Neo-Realism.
Three km south of Vila Franca de Xira lies the Lezíria Grande Equestrian Centre, where visitors can watch stylish displays of the impressive Lusitano horses. The centre also stages typical bullfighting spectacles in its outdoor bullring. Visitors can ride Lusitano horses and take dressage lessons at the Quinta de São Sebastião, a sprawling estate at Arruda dos Vinhos, 11 km west of Vila Franca de Xira.
The current Mayor is Alberto Mesquita, elected in 2013 as a member of the Socialist Party.
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Administratively, the municipality is divided into 6 civil parishes (freguesias):