- Not to be confused with Portas do Cerco, the community across the border with the same name in the Free State of Torbury.
|Portas do Cerco
|— Concelho —|
|- Cantonese||3 491 (31.3%)|
|- English||2 109 (18.9%)|
|- French||3 (0.0%)|
|- Putonghua||56 (0.5%)|
|- Portuguese||5 401 (48.4%)|
|- Other||97 (0.9%)|
|- Concelho||16.31 km²|
|- Density||684.1/km2 (1,771.7/sq mi)|
Portas do Cerco (lit. the door of a city, Traditional Chinese: 關閘) is a concelho (Portuguese for "county") located in extreme southwestern City of Watersauga in the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas. It is renown as the language and cultural hub of the Portuguese, where Portuguese is named the linguagem cidade (town's language). With a majority of Portuguese-speaking population, the lingua franca of the concelho is often Portuguese, which differs significantly from the rest of the city-state, where the langua franca is English or Cantonese.
Portas do Cerco is a twin city with Royal Plains across the Watersauga-Torbury border. A community of the same name, also with a high Portuguese population exists directly on the other side of the border.
The old parts of the town offers a flavour of the Portuguese culture with its old European architecture, as well as a wide array of Portuguese-themed shops and bars along the concelho's main street, Praça das Portas do Cerco.
Portas do Cerco literally means the door to an enclosed city in Portuguese. This is named so because the site used to be a trading post, and the Portuguese colonists established a gate, similar to nowadays border checkpoint, near their trading post, to control who has access to the trading post. This gate then became known as "Portas do Cerco", which ultimately became a general name for the community which later established around the trading post. The community adopted this name in 1618. The then-Portuguese colony of Sossegado had its capital in Portas do Cerco, which is also the seat to the only concelho (county) in the colony.
The Chinese name of 關閘 (lit. closing the gate) first emerged in 1602, when the Portuguese built a gate to protect their colony, effectively "closing the gate" and blocking the access of the area to indigenous (Chinese) population.
After the colony has been returned to the kingdom, the town site nowadays still kept the designation as a concelho. Only that a "concelho" is now equivalent to a type of municipality within the city-state of Watersauga.
The earliest record of settlement in the area is around 11th century BCE accordingly to archaeological evidence. This was likely the spread and migration of the population ordered by the King during the First Kingdom.
In the 1570s, the Portuguese explorers have set foot along the shores of Pacific Ocean, along the eastern shores of Lake Appleby. This area is now the Portas do Cerco area (which now straddles between the City-State of Watersauga and the Free State of Torbury). Originally settled by the local indigenous population (though the population was a negligible amount), the Portuguese first set up a trading post with the indigenous population in the late 1570s at the current-day Porto Velho das Portas do Cerco (Old Port of Portas do Cerco). Originally, the Portuguese paid taxes to the First Kingdom of the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas. However, in 1601, at the dawn of the Multi-cultural revolution, the Portuguese stopped paying taxes and chased away the indigenous population in the area. The Portuguese officially posed a claim of the territory around the old port as its colony in 1602, and began renaming the local areas with Portuguese names.
The Portuguese had built a market roughly a kilometer inland from the old port, which stands today as the cultural hub of the Portuguese population. While the Portuguese occupied the territory, the Portuguese culture had significantly influenced the local population. Portuguese was made the only official language, which meant that only Portuguese was taught in the territory. The Portuguese had held the territory until 1953, a few years after the World War has ended, and the territory was returned to the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas National Transitional Council, which had decided to divide up the Portuguese settlements under two different jurisdictions, Watersauga and Torbury respectively. Unlike the Torbury's counterpart, the Watersauga portion included the old port and the market. Watersauga also had allowed to keep Portuguese as the concelho's "official language" (though this is not recognize in the laws or constitution of the city-state), and also to keep the municipal status as "concelho", just like it was during the Portugal-administered period.
In 1959, the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) - Portas do Cerco section was completed, and the connection with Torbury Highway 2 was created in December 1959. The Posto Fronteiriço das Portas do Cerco (Border Checkpoint of Portas do Cerco) building was completed in January 1960, allowing tourists and citizens to travel between the two autonomous countries. With the border crossing completed, Portas do Cerco continued to bloom in the tourism industry owing to its strategic location and its unique cultural identity within the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas.
Portas do Cerco has been kept a small village until the 2000s. In 2003, the continual urban sprawl along the Queen Elizabeth Way had transformed the area of woodlands south of the highway into housing subdivisions. The vast area became home to over 7,000 people, and largely a bedroom community for the City of Port Credit and the City of Royal Plains, Torbury across the border. The new developments was highly controversial, as it was destroying natural habitats along Portas do Cerco's shoreline. Also, Portuguese-speaking residents fear that an influx of non-Portuguese speaking residents may threaten the language's status in the town.
The bulk of the concelho is rural. Most of the developed area is located between the shore of Pacific Ocean and the Queen Elizabeth Way. The developed area is mostly housing developments, serving as a bedroom community to the nearby City of Port Credit. Housing are largely medium density. To the north of Queen Elizabeth Way is predominantly rural farmland.
1 km from the border with Torbury is the Frontier Closed Area (FCA). This area surrounds Portas do Cerco's western border, to serve as a military buffer zone between the two autonomous countries. In the FCA, there are no developments (including agricultural, e.g. farming) allowed, with the exception of the area near Porto Velho (old port) area, where the old parts of the town and market is found. However, except local residents, all other personnels are required to obtain a travel permit in order to visit the area. The housing development in the area mostly cater to the customs personnel working at the border crossing checkpoint.
Portas do Cerco is a large port historically. After its return to the Kingdom, the concelho became divided into two autonomous countries, Watersauga and Torbury. Portas do Cerco continued to become the most important land port, since it is currently the only road connection between the two autonomous countries, and with the increased trade and commute between the two autonomous countries, traffic is increasing at the border checkpoint, and there are plans building a by-pass in the near future.
The major backbone of the concelho is the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) travelling through the concelho east-to-west, connecting all developed parts of the concelho, and also with neighbouring cities. Parallel to the corridor is the Queen Elizabeth Corridor Railway. Both are bombarded with heavy traffic everyday, with over 10,000 vehicles circulating on the two-lane road and the single track railway.
Public transit (bus) is currently absent in the concelho but proposed to be built in the future.
In addition to traditional and conventional public education instructed in the English language elsewhere in the city-state, the concelho is home to the Escola Portuguesa de Watersauga (Watersauga Portuguese School). The Escola follows the Portuguese curriculum (with several amendments as per the kingdom's policies), and its language of instruction is in Portuguese.
| Free State of Torbury|
Appleby / Portas do Cerco
|Portas do Cerco|
|Municipalities in the Province of Watersauga|