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Vila Real de Santo António

The original town of Santo António de Arenilla, built by fishermen on a sand bar in the river Guadiana, was swept away in a violent storm.
With the same determination he showed in rebuilding Lisbon after the earthquke of 1755, the Marquês the Pombal decided in 1774 to raise a new Santo António from the ruins of the old. Nearly a century after the original settlement was destroyed, Vila Real de Santo António was built. It took just five months. The town, laid out in a grid design drawn up by the architect Reinaldo Serrano recalls the Baixa quarter of Lisbon. At its heart lies the old Praça Real, a model of classical harmony and proportion. The square is paved in the tradicional Portuguese style, with a circular pattern that frames the obelisk erected in honour of the town's founder.
Once rebuilt, Vila Real soon reestablished itself as a fishing port and went on to become a thriving centre for trade with neighbouring Andalusia.

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