The word “amieira” in Portuguese means “common tree usually found among wet soils”. It is the European alder tree and it could be the origin of the name of this village. The proximity to several streams, including the one that runs through this village, and especially the Degebe river that runs through the local county, has made the soils abundant in water and rich in vegetation, including lots of alder trees. This natural designation could have thus been used to name the land, along with a more sacred name given to the parish: Our Lady of the Snows of Amieira. It is not really known when the village was founded, although in a local registry there are references to an “Amieira de Maura”, in the year 1263 when lands under the town charter of Portel were given to Dom João Peres de Aboim by settlers in Amieira de Moura.
The reference “de Maura” surely indicates that this village was previously inside or very close to the town limits of Moura and only became part of the Portel charter through Dom João de Aboim.
Perhaps the county of Amieira in the 13thcentury was just a collection of estates with their respective hills, which only later became the village known today as Amieira. What is certain is that the parish church, as it is today, was just outside the village surrounded by hills and separated from the village by a stream. The land of Amieira “separated into two bodies” was also known as “Aldeia dos Barbudos” or “Village of the Bearded Men”.
The original parish church of medieval origins was already in ruins at the beginning of the 16thcentury. It was later replaced as of 1534 with the current-day church, which was also completely restored during the 18thcentury.
About 400 meters away from the main parish church, on the top of a hill in the Herdade dos Pernes estate, you can find the Chapel of Our Lady of the Giesteira (or Broom Tree), which was restored just before 1624 by Father Gonçalo da Costa who was later buried there. In an 18thcentury document this chapel’s oracle was linked to the cult of breastfeeding. Today, the chapel is mostly in ruins.
In the middle of the village you can still find the Chapel of São Romão (Saint Romanus), built in the 17thcentury.
Most of the lands pertaining to the county were once part of the official hunting grounds for the Dukes of Braganza.