Village in the province of Alto Alentejo, in the district of Portalegre, diocese of Évora, county seat. 224 km from Lisbon. It consists of three parishes, and occupies an area of approximately 247 km2. The Village of Campo Maior only started to be part of Portuguese territory in the reign of D. Dinis, after the Alcanises treaty, signed in Castile. With a hardworking population of around 8535, it is an important agricultural center. It has an industrial complex and its coffee roasting is the largest on the Peninsula.
The beautiful Municipal Garden gives the village a rare shade of freshness.
A legend, which remains an unalterable tradition, says that the village was founded by three heads of family who lived dispersed in the countryside and decided to group together for greater protection. Discovering an open space, one says to the others: “Here the field is bigger”. Hence the name of the nascent settlement.
As a reminder of the fact, they built the weapons for their new home, which consists of the three heads representing each one of the three heads of family. Incidentally, the ancient several poetic conjunctures make the ancient name of Campo Maior village. Some believe that it comes from “Campus Major”. Because the castle can be seen to the east, a vast plain more than fifty kilometers long, in which case the name would have Roman origins.
Others still believe that the settlement began near the hermitage of S. Pedro, (where certain traces are found) and that wars, moving it away from Campo Maior, brought it closer to the castle.
It is very old and is ignored by whoever was founded and even its original name, because until the beginning of the 13th century there is no news, regarding its origin or its history. It is believed that the village had been an Arab settlement, being conquered by a family from Badajoz by the name Peres, who made it Christian and donated it to the church of Santa Maria do Castelo, of this city, of which he was then Bishop D. Fr. Pedro Peres, a member of that family.
In the peace treaty between Portugal and Castile, celebrated in 1297 in the reign of D. Dinis, it was decided that, from then on, the towns of Campo Maior, Ouguela and Olivença were no longer Castilian.
Some writers say that this monarch gave him a charter in 1309, and others want it to be in 1299, raising the village to the category of village.
Manuel gave him the new charter, in Lisbon, on September 16, 1512, then incorporating it into the crown, with the privilege of not leaving it.