Vimeiro is a peaceful small village situated in the Lourinhã department, in the Centre-West region, in a region of great natural beauty.
This is a rural locality even though has suffered a great Touristic development due to its good mineral waters, to the golf court and swimming pools.
The village has about 375 years, yet some ancient documents prove that Vimeiro already existed in the 12th century.
It is said that in Vimeiro lived a famous Portuguese Queen, Saint Isabel, that discovered the value of the waters of Maceira Thermal Complex, as they cured a rare skin disease. The Maceira Thermal Complex are situated in front of the ocean, in an area of great natural beauty, and are indicated for the treatment of problems of the respiratory, digestive, circulatory system, skin problems and dermatological pathologies.
The village is proud of its social, natural, landscape and architectonic heritage, with monuments such as the Mother Church and the Vimeiro Battle Monument, erected in 1908 in the place where the Battle was fought, overlooking the settlement, from where one has an astonishing panorama.
In fact, Vimeiro has its name in History due to the great Battle that here was fought among Portuguese and British allied troops against the French Army.
The Vimeiro’s Battle was fought on the 21st August 1808, in Vimeiro territory, among the alliance of Portuguese and British army, under Bernardino Freire and General Arthur Wellesley orders, against the French Army, under the command of Major-General jean-Andoche Junot.
After the French defeat in Roliça’s Battle two days before, the Portuguese/British alliance advanced towards Lisboa, being confronted by the French army in Vimeiro.
The battle began as a battle of manoeuvre, with French troops attempting to outflank the British left, but Wellesley was able to redeploy his army to face the assault. Meanwhile, Junot sent in two central columns but these were forced back by sustained volleys from troops in line. Soon afterwards, the flanking attack was beaten off and Junot retreated towards Torres Vedras, having lost 2,000 men and 13 cannon, compared to 700 British losses.
This Battle lead the way to the negotiations that culminated in the Sintra Convention, which allowed the French troops the withdrawal of the Iberian Peninsula with all their belongings and pillage in British embarkations.