The History of Praia do Pedrógão and Coimbrão
(source: Wikipedia in Portuguese, free transaltion)

For Portuguese speakers, check out this extensive page from the Freguesia de Coimbrão (to which Praia do Pedrógão belongs).

Destroyed during the 1755 Lisbon earthquake which basilcally leveled most of the area in and around Lisbon to the ground, Praia do Pedrogão once had a bastion that served to defend the Portuguese coast from attacks by pirates who roamed the place. There was also a natural source of fresh water, that promoted the visiting and settling of sailors and fishermen that docked to stock up on water and goods.
Pedrógão beach was once the mouth of the River Lis, which has moved south over time.
The people of this place have dedicated themselves to agriculture and fishing, and today they still practice the so called “Arte Xávega”, a particular and comunal way of fishing.
Along the cliff of Praia do Pedrógão is a succession of calcareous Jurassic marl, which contains some fossils. Recently, several paleontological findings have been discovered, namely fossils on the rocks of the beach substrate. Several findings were also made regarding archaeological sites including rudimentary rock paintings.

It is unknown the date on which the current lands of this parish began to be inhabited, but it will not be a mistake to assume that human occupation arose in connection with the Vale do Lis field , once real property until D. Afonso V and, later, belonging to the noblemen until the creation of Casa do Infantado on August 11, 1654, by king D. João IV , in favor of his son the infant D. Pedro , later D. Pedro II .
The Lis valley was part of the Casa do Infantado, whose income was intended for royal children not princes.

At the bottom of the village, at the entrance to the field, you can still find the Marco do Infantado, darkened by the centuries and sometimes bathed by the floods, continues to maintain its serenity.
This little landmark, almost forgotten, will have marked the limits of such landlord, counting more than three hundred years. The Casa do Infantado was undone in the 19th century and has been preserved until today.

The settlement of the territory that today belongs to this parish, was integrated in Souto da Carpalhosa .
In 1589 , Monte Redondo became independent from Souto by the hand of Bishop D. Pedro de Castilho , and the inhabitants of Coimbrão were subject to this neighboring parish, but soon the bairrism of the western people began to work to also obtain their independence , which the bishop of Leiria D. Dinis de Mello granted him in 1636.

That year it was detached from the parish of Monte Redondo, with São Miguel as its patron, [ 1 ] since there was a chapel erected in this “Coimbrões” to this Saint.
Each customer was left to pay, a bushel of wheat, 25 kings and a quart of wine to the cure.
The widows and singles who ran their farm, were charged with half a bushel of wheat each and 12 kings.
Parish records indicate that before the French invasions, in October 1810, the population of this parish was 1 593, 543 after the withdrawal of French troops in June 1811.

The first inhabitants of this territory lived mainly on agriculture , it was their main means of subsistence at that time.
Through this economic activity, they obtained the plants and animals that often traded with people from other locations. A terra era muito arenosa, pobre em húmus , mas muito rica em água, nos poços, nas fontes e no campo do Lis, devido à proximidade do rio. The land was very sandy, poor in humus , but very rich in water, in the wells, in the fountains and in the Lis field, due to the proximity of the river. King D. Dinis , ordered ditches and rivers opened so that the wiping of the land could make the soil arable.  We know that wheat was the most abundant crop, as well as vegetables. In 1758 , agricultural production in São Miguel do Coimbrão was mainly corn and beans . In this way, wheat cultivation would have been reduced, giving more importance to the cultivation of maize that came from Europe at the time of the discoveries.  Even today you can see huge and green cornfields in the fields of Vale do Lis.
However, for some years maize was supplanted by a new crop: rice , due to the abundance of water.  Introduced by the Moors , this plant only in the middle of the 19th century, developed in the municipality of Leiria and was an important production in the parish of Coimbrão. Many of the agricultural implements, such as the gourd, the hoe , the plow , the plow , the sickle harrow, the pitchfork , the rake , the fork, the scythe , the squeegee and the tarara , used in the production of these crops were superseded by modern agricultural techniques, although some of them still continue to be used by more traditional families in small properties. In the last quarter of the 20th century , tobacco culture was introduced for the first time in the parish.
As for the industry, only about a hundred years ago it started with a tannery . Around 1904 a rudimentary tile and brick industry emerged.  For some years he worked at a file factory, whose manufacture was practically all manual, however he would eventually succumb in 1929 . The transport industry was also explored in Coimbrão, at the beginning of the 20th century, this industry was limited to a bus that connected with Leiria, by the road from Monte Redondo to Coimbrão, built in 1831 , transported passengers, and / or provided services cargo and freight . However, in a land where pine trees abounded, and due to the experience acquired by workers, who had previously emigrated to Galicia , it was to be expected that wood sawmills would be installed in the area.  There are currently three industries for this raw material in Coimbrão.
According to some testimonies, the dwellings were built with lime and clay (although cement already existed, it was only used by the wealthiest families) with which adobes (made of clay that came from the Barreiros da Salgueira and Barreiro , molded in wooden shapes), and pine wood, very abundant in the area. Devido à sua frágil construção muitas casas acabavam por desabar com facilidade. Due to its fragile construction, many houses ended up collapsing easily.  We know that the first telephony in Coimbrão, was brought by engineer Mário Leal , operated on battery and was heard with headphones, this in 1922 .  Over the years, the wooden stalls and small masonry houses (built with sand- dried bricks and cement) gave way to huge buildings that, according to the population, completely disfigured one of the most beautiful beaches in the region.  However, efforts are being made so that the beach continues to be sought after for its therapeutic characteristics and to be a blue and at the same time golden paradise.
In 1866 the Junta da Paróquia asked King D. Luís to create a school for boys, although previously there were people in the parish who taught how to read and write, as there are older documents written by people here.  As for the girls’ education, a petition was drawn up, addressed to the King requesting the said teaching, alleging the absence of another school until Leiria. In 1732 the parish of Coimbrão had 784 inhabitants, in 1981 it had 1 856 and in 2001 there were 1930 inhabitants.
The region’s delicacies are Morcelas do Coimbrão (made of blood and rice). They are mainly made at the time of the slaughter of the pig, a tradition that only a few families maintain.  Many of the utensils used by our grandparents, or our parents, have fallen into disuse, being replaced by others with a faster and more effective effect, the onion is an example of this, it was a slender and sharp weapon to kill the pig, the chambaril or the board of the Guts are other utensils that remain only in the memory of the elderly. Puddings have pork blood and fat, rice and spices (cloves, cumin and salt) as ingredients.  After preparing a dough with these ingredients, the guts are filled and boiled in a pot with water.  Once cooked, they can be served hot, or placed in the smokehouse and later they can accompany a Portuguese stew.  They are also delicious fried slices in the famous frittata , which is another delicacy in the region. Still at the time of slaughter, and using the rest of the prepared morcelas, Morcela Cakes were made , adding a little cinnamon, flour and boiling water, forming a paste to mold and make small balls that were to be boiled in the water of the bats, there were those who put sugar in these cakes. M Later, the famous cracklings were made , so appreciated by everyone.
Cornbread is another tradition that only the oldest keep alive. Corn flour, lukewarm water and yeast and utensils are needed for making them: sieve , masseira , tenteira , oven shovel, a squeegee to clean and remove ash from the oven, the bowl, it was a stick with laurels that also served to clean the oven and clear the oven, where the bread is cooked.
Migas and Bacalhau com Toucinho sauce are other delicacies characteristic of this parish, which can still be enjoyed today in restaurants in the region.
Arroz Doce , Broa Doce and Filhós are part of the region’s confectionery, made with young pumpkin. In order not to forget the manufacture of the past, artisan art remains alive, through wicker wicker baskets, woolen pipes, fabrics with four or six needles, which were part of the woman’s costume, and seagull feather shakers, found on the beach. With the exception of the latter that are made to order, these artefacts can be purchased at parties, fairs and in specialty houses.

Around 1930 , a small workshop was established in Ervedeira, where floor mats, blankets and quilts were manufactured, using cotton thread and scraps of various fabrics as raw material. Currently, this type of craft is not made, but the loom still exists, and the work carried out by the craftsman is spread throughout the country.

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