Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈkaldɐʒ ðɐ ʁɐˈiɲɐ] (listen)) is a medium-sized Portuguese city in the Oeste region, in the historical province of Estremadura, and in the district of Leiria. The city serves as the seat of the larger municipality of the same name and of the Comunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste (OesteCIM, Intermunicipal Community of the West). At the 2011 census, the municipality had a population of 51,729 in an area of 255.69 square kilometres (98.72 sq mi), with 30,343 residing in the city. Although the city itself lies about 10.5 kilometres (6.5 mi) inland, three of the municipality's civil parishes lie on the Atlantic Ocean. Caldas da Rainha is best known for its sulphurous hot springs and ceramic pottery.

Caldas da Rainha
Municipality of Caldas da Rainha within Portugal
Coordinates: 39°24′26″N 9°8′9″W
Intermunicipal entityComunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste
NUTS I statistical divisionContinente
NUTS II statistical regionCentro
NUTS III statistical subregionOeste
Historical provinceEstremadura
Vila (town) status1511
Concelho/Município (Municipality)1821
Cidade (city) status1927
Founded byQueen Leonor[1]
Named forQueen Leonor
Freguesias (civil parishes)
  TypeMunicipality (Município, or concelho)
  BodyCâmara Municipal (executive)
Assembleia Municipal (deliberative)
   MayorVitor Manuel Calisto Marques (Vamos Mudar - MV)
  President of the Municipal AssemblyAntónio Gonçalves Marques Curado (Vamos Mudar)
  Municipality255.69 km2 (98.72 sq mi)
  Length24 km (15 mi)
  Width22 km (14 mi)
Highest elevation255 m (837 ft)
Lowest elevation0 m (0 ft)
  Density202.3/km2 (524/sq mi)
  Statistical city
 [note 1]
Time zoneUTC±00:00 (Western European Time[12])
  Summer (DST)UTC+01:00 (Western European Summer Time[12])
Postal code (código postal)
Area code(s)262
Municipal holiday15 May[13]

The settlement was founded in the 15th century by Queen Leonor (Rainha Dona Leonor), who established a hospital and a church at the site of some therapeutic hot springs. The Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor (Queen Leonor Spring Water Hospital, or Thermal Hospital) is the oldest purpose-built institution of its kind in the world, with five centuries of history. The city's name, often shortened to simply "Caldas", can be translated as "Queen's Hot Springs", "Queen's Spa", or "Queen's Baths".

Caldas da Rainha is a UNESCO Creative City. It is home to many cultural institutions. The city's nine museums cover art, history, and cycling. Cultural and sports venues include Centro Cultural e de Congressos (CCC, Cultural and Conference Centre), a centre for performing arts, exhibitions, and conferences; Expoeste – Centro de Exposições do Oeste (Exhibition Centre of the West), which hosts exhibitions and festivals; a bullring; several football (soccer) pitches; and a multi-sport municipal complex. Caldas hosts six professional and higher-educational institutions, including a major arts and design school and a school devoted to ceramics. In 2014 Caldas da Rainha had the best public secondary school in Portugal based on national test scores.

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