Torres Vedras

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Torres Vedras. The lines of Torres Vedras were a system of defensive fortifications constructed by Wellington's engineers in 1809, and were situated 40 miles north of Lisbon to protect the city from French attack during the Peninsular War. They consisted of a series of forts and gun emplacements in three lines stretching some 30 miles from the river Tagus to the sea. Wellington fell back on the lines in October 1810 and held Masséna's French army at bay. In November Masséna was forced to retire to Spain with his army in poor condition.

Richard A. Smith

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Tôrres Vedras (tō´rəsh vā´drəsh), town (1991 pop. 13,300), Lisboa dist., W central Portugal, in Estremadura. Located in an agricultural center, it produces wine and minor manufactures. The town was captured from the Moors by Alfonso I soon after he took Lisbon (1147) but was reconquered by the Almohads briefly in 1189. Tôrres Vedras was an important fortress and royal residence throughout the Middle Ages and was an important strategic point in the Peninsular War (1810).