History

Cascais

A short history of Cascais

The human-being occupation in the area that is now the municipality of Cascais dates back to the Paleolithic. We can find traces of this time in the north of Talaíde and in the south of the Cabreiro area. The human presence in this area during the Neolithic is evidenced by the establishment of the first settlements and the use of natural caves (Old Well in Cascais) and artificial (Alapraia or São Pedro do Estoril).
The presence of the Romans in Cascais is witnessed through the Villas of Freiria (S. Domingos de Rana) and Casais Velhos (Charneca). The discovery of a set of tanks for fish salting, at Rua Marques Leal Pancada is also an example of an “industrial complex” of the Roman age.
In the second half of the twelfth century, Cascais was a small fishing and farmers village.
Due to its exceptional geography, it became in an important fishing with economic interest.
On the 7th June 1364, Cascais changed its classification from a village to a town.

Cascais, because of its temperate climate, have become into the favourite summer holiday area of the Portuguese Court. When King D.Luis decided to choose Cascais as his “place of bathing”, during the nineteenth century, they took with him the Court and the high bourgeoisie and the summer habits have changed. From bathing to soirees and balls in the royal palace: the social life intensified. With it, some infrastructures have started to appear in the Cascais, such as Chalets, Hotels, Restaurants and other many entertainment venues.
Since during the 2nd World War Portugal have opted for neutrality, it turned this country in a safe territory for thousands of refugees and exiles. Examples of this illustrious personalities like Don Juan Count Battensberg and Bourbon (King Don Juan Carlos of Spain), King Umberto II of Italy, Carol II of Romania, the Archduke of Austria and Hungary, the Danish Royal family , the Grand Duchess Charlotte and others.
Actually, Cascais continues to have this vocation of welcoming different type of tourism: holiday, cultural, golf or business.