The parish of Samuel is one of the twelve that belong to the municipality of Soure. It is situated in the Centre Region of Portugal, Coimbra district.
It has an area of 32 km2 and it is constituted by twenty-one small villages along its prevailing forested landscape.
In what concerns density of population, Samuel has about 2000 inhabitants. These people used to dedicate themselves to agriculture, mainly as a means of subsistence. They used to grow oats, wheat, barley, olive trees, grape-vine, corn and rice. Currently, there is still farming activities, but only rice and wine are produced to be sold.
Over the last years, with the decrease of the agricultural activity and with the increasing of other sectors, namely public services, the population was offered other employment opportunities.
Nowadays, the Associação Cultural, Recreativa e Social de Samuel (ACRSS), a Private Institution of Social Solidarity, is one of the biggest employer entities in Samuel, which gives social answers mainly to children and elderly people, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity. It also develops projects of professional training to active working people and to unemployed ones, which allows them to raise their qualification level, in terms of schooling knowledge and professional training, in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
This entity employs more than eighty workers, having also more than twenty co-workers in the professional training courses.
During the last years, there has been a growing dynamic in what concerns services offer, in the parish of Samuel. Therefore, the mentioned institution offers childcare facilities: a day nursery, a kindergarten, a centre of free time activities. In what respects the elderly, it has a daytime centre, domiciliary support, a social intercourse centre; it is about to begin the construction of a unit of long-term care, in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
The parish also has a public kindergarten, to children aged from 3 to 5, a primary school and a medical care centre, with the daily presence of a doctor and a nurse.
In Samuel there are also several cultural and recreational organizations, such as a Huntsmen Club, a Motorcyclist’s Club, among others.
There are also a football field and a sports pavilion. Furthermore, there is a senior football team that competes in the district championship.
In what respects culture and recreational activities, ACRSS animates the parish. The Ethnographic Group of Samuel, a folk and ethnographic group, dedicates itself to the research and preservation of Samuel’s popular traditions, habits and customs. This folk group is formed by about 60 members, aged from 4 to 80.
About fifty years ago, there was also a thermal waters business, being Amieira watering-place, nowadays inactive, one of the most wanted in the whole country. These facilities are abandoned, waiting for new investors to put them in the spotlight once again.
The parish is rich in traditions, namely gastronomic ones. The proximity to the river makes eels fished there a speciality, along with dishes concocted from pork, many of them related to the pig butchering, traditionally a time for a family gathering.
Maize bread and rye bread, baked in a wood oven, as well as rice pudding, cheese and jellies made with several fruits, are other specialities.
The parish of Samuel is unique in the region due to the diversity that characterizes it, as the landscape is enriched with the countryside, the river and the mountain. The parish is also a place of interest because of its last vestiges of the Roman period that can still be observed here.
The parish armorial bearings present the following symbols: the four towers mean that the parish was once the municipality hall; the symbol on the left, with the waves, means the existence of thermal waters; the candle on the right side is related to the Legend of the Holy Mother of Candles, the parish patroness.
We invite you all to visit Samuel and to enjoy its beautiful landscapes and people!
Mayor Teresa Margarida Vaz Pedrosa