GUARDA, an episcopal city and the capital of an administrative district bearing the same name, and formerly in the province of Beira, Portugal; on the Guarda-Abrantes and LisbonVillar Formoso railways. Pop. (1900) 6124. Guarda is situated 337 o ft. above sea-level, at the north-eastern extremity of the Serra da Estrella, overlooking the fertile valley of the river Coa. It is surrounded by ancient walls, and contains a ruined castle, a fine 16th-century cathedral and a sanatorium for consumptives. Its industries comprise the manufacture of coarse cloth and the sale of grain, wine and live stock. In 1199 Guarda was founded, on the site of the Roman Lencia Oppidana, by Sancho I. of Portugal, who intended it, as its name implies, to be a "guard" against Moorish invasion. The administrative district of Guarda coincides with north-eastern Beira; pop. (1900), 261,630; area, 1065 sq. m.
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