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Human settlement in the region of Viana began during the Mesolithic era, according to archaeological studies.

The settlement of Vianna da Foz do Lima, as it was called when King Afonso III of Portugal issued a foral (royal charter) on 18 July 1258, was a formalization of the town's importance.

In the 16th century, its port gained great importance as one of the entry-points for Portuguese explorers and traders, involved in the Portuguese discoveries. Many of the historical buildings are from this period.

The prosperity that continued developed from the town's role as a port, protected by defensive structures (such as the Tower of Roqueta) to repel pirates from Galicia and Northern Europe.
The port's ties to northern Europe came primarily from exports of wine, fruits, cod fisheries, and imports of tile, textiles and glass.

Following maritime discoveries and trade, the commercial life of Viana reached its peak greatest during the reign of Queen Mary II of Portugal, when the monarch established the Associação Commercial de Vianna do Castello in 1852 (the fourth oldest public company of its type). The queen, in order to reward the loyalty of its citizens, who did not surrender to the Count of Antas, elevated the town to the status of city on 20 January 1848 and gave it it's current full name.

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 83 W: 0 N: 361] (1870)
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