Freguesia (Portugal)

The Freguesia [ frɛɡɘziɐ ] ( parish, secular equivalent of the parishes, of Portuguese Freguês from vulgar Latin filius ecclesiae, son of the church ' ) is the smallest administrative unit and lowest level of authority ( Autarquias ) in the local self-government in Portugal, which is about a community corresponds.


Until the Liberal revolution in Portugal in 1822 and the Miguelistenkrieg 1834 was in Portugal, the ecclesiastical parish ( Paroquia ) and the State Administration Unit ( Freguesia ) identical. With the administrative reform of 18 July 1835, the official churches were distinguished from the church. The Law of 23 June 1916, the state administration units were henceforth called Freguesias. Colloquially, the term Freguesia has held until today but also for the church.

Also, in some former Portuguese overseas you can still find these administrative division, while the Portuguese has remained most similar in Cape Verde. About Macau is divided into 7 Freguesias. Portugal now has 4,259 Freguesias whose reduction is sought, given the financial crisis in the country by law. The proposed legislation, which provides for a reduction of the administrative units at all levels, has not yet been implemented due to varied resistance.


Several Freguesias are combined into a concelho that is administratively and politically organized as Municipio. Each Municipio contains at least one Freguesia, which may extend over several places.

Each Freguesia is ruled by a junta de Freguesia to about German council of the municipality as an executive body. This is so elected by the elected Assembleia de Freguesia the municipal assembly.

The chairman of the Junta de Freguesia are born members, so automatically a member of the Municipal Assembleia their Municipio.

A Freguesia can have a very small territory, but there are also Freguesias whose area exceeds 100 sq. km or dozens contains smaller places. Likewise, the population vary greatly. It is possible for the Municipalities to establish new Freguesias, within legally defined conditions.

Currently there are seven municipios in Portugal, which contain only a single Freguesia. The Municipio with the highest number of Freguesias is Barcelos with 89 municipalities.

From an administrative perspective, the Freguesias are the LGE ( LAU) equate 2.