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Many of Afonso Henriques' donations in the 12th century, including privileges assigned to these institutions, were confirmed in 1189 by his son, Sancho I (1185–1211), corresponding to a social, political and economic strategy during the post-Reconquista era.

Consequently, after 1261, Sintra had a local administration consisting of an alcalde representing the Crown, and two local judges elected by the public.

The toponym Sintra derives from the medieval Suntria, and points to an association with radical Indo-European cultures; the word translates into bright star or sun, commonly significant in those cultures. A roadway along the southeast part of the Sintra Mountains and connected to the main road to Olissipo dates from this period.

The charter established the municipality of Sintra, whose territory encompassed a large area, eventually divided into four great parishes: São Pedro de Canaferrim (in the castle); São Martinho (in the town of Sintra); Santa Maria; and São Miguel (in the ecclesiastical seat of Arrabalde).

The early municipal seat, the town of Sintra, was the centre of a significant Sephardic community, with a synagogue and quarter.

Traces of several Bronze Age remains were also discovered in many places in the Sintra Mountains, including alongside the town, in the Monte do Sereno area, and a late Bronze Age settlement within the Moorish Castle dating to the 9th-6th century B. The most famous object from this period is the so-called Sintra Collar, a middle Bonze Age gold neck-ring found near the city at the end of the nineteenth century, which since 1900 has been part of the British Museum's collection.

Relatively close by, in Santa Eufémia da Serra, is an Iron Age settlement where artifacts from indigenous tribes and peoples of Mediterranean origins (principally from the Punic period) were also discovered.

The various residents of the region were considered part of the Roman Galeria and in the present village of Sintra there are Roman remains testifying to a Roman presence from the 1st-2nd century B. It was during the Moorish occupation of Sintra (Arabic: ‎) that Greco-Latin writers wrote of the explicit occupation of the area of the town centre.

A description by the geographer Al-Bacr, described Sintra as "one of the towns that [are] dependent on Lisbon in Al-Andalus, in proximity to the sea", characterizing it as "permanently submersed in a fog that never dissipates".At some time between 12, the Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça held various privileges in the territory.The military Order of Santiago owned an estate in Arrifana in 1260.Later, these lands were transferred to the young Infante Afonso (later King Afonso IV), and remained in his possession until 1334, before reverting to the ownership of the queen (Portuguese: The Black Death arrived in Sintra in the 14th century; in 1350, the disease is known to have caused the death of five municipal scribes.Far greater numbers of deaths probably resulted, perhaps owing to the cool climate and humidity, conditions that favoured the rapid spread of the disease.) is a municipality in the Grande Lisboa subregion (Lisbon Region) of Portugal, considered part of the Portuguese Riviera.

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