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DEJATE CAUTIVAR SABIAS QUE BASILICA SANTA MARIA

GENERAL INTEREST

 

Did you know that…?

 

There is no actual proof as to the origin of the name Portugalete. Juan Antonio Moguel, in a letter written to José de Bargas in 1803 propounds the idea that Portugal and Portugalete have their origin in Portus Gallorum , which in Latin means the Port of the Gauls; yet he goes on to say that neither Portugal nor Portugalete ever responded to this description.

 

He believes that the Town must have been called Ugalete or Ugaleta, which in Basque means "place bordering on water", and when the Romans arrived they preceded it with the word Portu. Ciriquiain favours the theory that Portugalete stems from Portus Gallorum. According to a letter written in 1803 by J. A. Moguel to J. De Bargas, the names of Portugal and Portugalete have the same origin, although the latter has the locative ending "ete". He backs this up by pointing to the Gallic trend that is also apparent in some of the other surrounding place names: Galindo, Galea, Galdames, Galarreta, (Gallarta), etc. Bibliography: "Monografías de Pueblos de Bizkaia" PORTUGALETE de Cipriano Ramos Larriba.

 

Did you know that…?

 

Regarding its port activities, Portugalete was initially the embarkation point for the Castilian wool shipped to Flanders, acting as the outer port of Bilbao, which by then was the hub of export for the trading guild that controlled the northern wool trade, namely the Merchant's University (Universidad de Mercaderes) in Burgos.

 

Did you know that...?

 

In the 19 th and early 20 th centuries, Portugalete had numerous taverns in which to savour the local wine, txakoli , in little jugs, jarillas, which means that it comes as no surprise to learn that the local people were affectionately nicknamed "jarrilleros”.


Did you know that...?

 

There was an area at the mouth of the river estuary where sand and sediment built up, making navigation difficult and even dangerous


Did you know that...?

 

The Portugalete Bar kept everyone on tenterhooks for centuries in Portugalete, Bilbao and even throughout the whole region, for fear that the bar would block off the river estuary and dry it up. The problem was solved in the 19 th century with the building of the Churruca wharf.

 

Did you know that...?

 

The greatest heights rising around Portugalete are the hills of San Roque, Campanzar, Los Hoyos and Repélega.

 

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