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Estarreja



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The northern zone of the lagoon area, which stretches from Furadouro to the south of Aveiro (the district's capital), has for long been characterized by the great salt-pans, the moliço (seaweed, once harvested for fertilizer, now drastically substituted by chemical products) and by the vital activity of fishing.

Estarreja received its charter as a town in 1519 and exhibits a fine Town Hall from the 19th century.

At the village of Avanca, it is worth visiting the interesting Egas Moniz House-Museum, with a vast patrimony including collections of antique furniture, fine porcelain, paintings, goldsmithery and tapestry, among many other precious objects, and also the splendid mansions of Casa do Mato (16th century) and Casa do Outeiro.

The county is proud of its traditional handicrafts, namely the famous and gay cangas pintadas (painted yokes) and miniature boats (such as the moliceiro, the colourful seaweed-collecting boat with its high and curving prow and elegant design).

The region's marshes give shelter to different vegetable and animal species, including the mallard, the water-hen and the fish-hawk.

As for the local gastronomy, eels feature in several dishes but there are also rojões (pork fried in its own fat), the fine pão-de-ló of Salreu (sponge-cake) and typical sweet loaves.

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