1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Leiria

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LEIRIA, an episcopal city and the capital of the district of Leiria, formerly included in Estremadura, Portugal; on the river Liz and on the Lisbon-Figueria da Foz railway. Pop. (1900) 4459. The principal buildings of Leiria are the ruined citadel, which dates from 1135, and the cathedral, a small Renaissance building erected in 1571 but modernized in the 18th century. The main square of the city is named after the poet Francisco Rodrigues Lobo, who was born here about 1500. Between Leiria and the Atlantic there are extensive pine woods known as the Pinhal de Leiria, which were planted by King Diniz (1279-1325) with trees imported from the Landes in France, in order to give firmness to the sandy soil. In the neighbourhood there are glass and iron foundries, oil wells and mineral springs. Leiria, the Roman Calippo, was taken from the Moors in 1135 by Alphonso I. (Affonso Henriques). King Diniz made it his capital. In 1466 the first Portuguese printing-press was established here; in 1545 the city was made an episcopal see. The administrative district of Leiria coincides with the north and north-west of the ancient province of Estremadura (q.v.); pop. (1900) 238,755; area 1317 sq. m.