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The first groups of shepherds settled on the coast where Póvoa de Varzim is now located between the 4th millennium and early 2nd millennium BC.
Widespread pillaging by rival and migrant tribes led the resident populations of the coastal plain of Póvoa de Varzim to raise a town atop the hill that stood next to the sea.
By the 17th century, the fish processing industry rebounded and, some time later, Póvoa became the dominant fishing port in northern Portugal.
which unfolded an influential literary culture and historical artistic patronage in music and theater.
The city expanded, southwards, to Vila do Conde, and there are about 100,000 inhabitants in the urban area alone.
It is the seventh-largest urban agglomeration in Portugal and the third largest in Northern Portugal.
According to the 2001 census, there were 63,470 inhabitants, with 42,396 living in the city proper.Lower Varzim, the royal southern land, was the location of the port and contiguous farmlands.According to a 1258 chronic, while Sancho II of Portugal was disputing the throne with his brother, Afonso, who was invited by the knights to take over the Portuguese throne, Gavião of Varzim used the opportunity to destroy the king's assets in Lower Varzim.He violently entered in the king's lands, destroyed it significantly, in such a way that no bread could be sowed, nor a car could cross that place as it often used to do.
Sancho II was overthrown, Afonso became king and ordered the resettlement of the royal land and king's chronicler explicitly stated that all the port was property of the king.
By the 11th century, the fish industry and fertile farmlands were the economic base of a feudal lordship and Varzim was fiercely disputed between the local overlords and the early Portuguese kings, which resulted in the establishment of the present day's municipality in 1308 and being subdued to monastic power some years later.