Valpaços is a little Portuguese town in the district of Vila Real, North Region and Alto Trás-os-Montes Sub-region, being its population around 4 500 inhabitants.
It is the capital of the municipality, being its surface 553,06 km² and its population 19 512 inhabitants, (2001), divided into 31 civil parishes. The municipality is bounded by Chaves to the north-east, by Vinhais and Mirandela to the east, by Murça to the south and by Vila Pouca de Aguiar to the west. It was settled in 1836 after the splitting of Chaves.
The most important event in the history of Valpaços probably took place in the middle of the 19th c. On 16th November 1845, during the Patuleia uprising, rival troops clashed here. The movement, which had began spontaneously and had popular roots, became then a political matter. The passage through Valpa&cceil;os left two dozen casualties, but the battle then continued in Murça.
The legend says that the famous Zé do Telhado took part in the battle and even saved viscount Sá da Bandeira's life; he had being one of the queen's beefeater before becoming an outlaw!
Both the architectural heritage and the medieval documentation of this civil parish justify its current importance. It is to be highlighted the parish church, quite wide, with just one nave. It has a crossing arch separating the main chapel (where a beautiful sculpture of St. Mary Major can be found) from the rest of the building.
Regarding civil architecture, it is necessary to mention the paço of the municipality, from the 19th c., whose building cost around 20 Contos (=some 100 current Euros). It was projected by Augusto Xavier Teixeira and its construction lasted for a couple of years (1891).
The visitor cannot miss the village manor-houses, being the oldest one the so-called Morgados da Fonte or S. Francisco de Valpaços.
Valpaços was raised to the category of “vila” (=village) in 1861 through a Royal Decree issued on March 27th and signed by King Dom Pedro 5th. In 1936, the village finally achieved its heraldic representation. Nowadays it represents a crown containing five castles, since it became a “cidade” (=city or town) in 1999.