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Windmills in the Estremadura
Estremadura Province 1936

Estremadura [ (ɨ) ʃtɾɨmɐ'duɾɐ ] is the name of a historical province of Portugal that roughly encompasses the coastal area in central Portugal, including Lisbon . It overlaps with today's Região de Lisboa and the districts of Leiria and Setúbal .


The name is traditionally derived from the Latin extrema Durii ("beyond the Douro"). In this sense, the Estremadura would be the area beyond the Douro River that was essentially conquered by the first Portuguese king, Alfonso I , from the beginning of the 12th century .

Linguistically more plausible, however, is the interpretation that the name is derived as a noun formation from the Latin adjective extremus, -a and means something like "border area" or more precisely "border area (to the Moors )".

The same origin of the name has the Extremadura on the Spanish side .

Boundaries and outline

The borders of the Portuguese Estremadura changed initially in the course of the reconquest of the Moorish territory and finally included the entire Portuguese region south of the Douro to Setúbal , south of Lisbon. In the 15th century it included the present-day districts of Aveiro , Coimbra , Leiria , Lisbon , Santarém and Setúbal.

In the 19th century , the Estremadura was then limited with minor differences to the districts of Lisbon, Leiria, Setúbal and parts of Santarém, which together formed the Province of Estremadura due to the administrative reform of 1936.

When the new constitution of 1976 came into force , the provinces were abolished as political institutions. Even if the provinces and their names have disappeared from the political and administrative present, they live on in the everyday language of the Portuguese to this day, but in the case of the Estremadura to a lesser extent than, for example, the Minho (province) or the Ribatejo . They are gradually being replaced by the names that were introduced within the framework of the EU classification of regions ( NUTS ) and which are no longer linked to the historical provinces.

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