Monday, May 2, 2011


Santarém is the capital of the District of Santarém, in the region of Ribatejo (meaning "above the Tejo", or Tagus in English, River), located slightly south of the center of Portugal. It is a very old city, conquered by Dom Afonso Henriques in 1147 CE but there is evidence that people lived in the area since over 1000 years prior to that date. It is known as the "Gothic Capital" of Portugal, although personally I didn't find the city to have an overwhelmingly Gothic feel to it although there were a few remnants of what it must have been like before.

A view of the Tagus River from the Porta do Sol ("door of the sun"), now a garden surrounded by some of the old city walls (Muralhas da cidade) and which marks one of the seven entrances to the medieval castle.

The garden of the Porta do Sol.

Igreja de São João de Alporão (Church of Saint John of Alporão). Built in the 7th century.

A quiet city street in the city center of Santarém. I visited on a Sunday so practically nothing was open. Normally this is a busy commercial area.

The beautiful Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição do Colégio dos Jesuítas (Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the College of the Jesuits), built in the 17th century.

Igreja da Misericórdia de Santarém, built in the middle of the 16th century.

Door of the Igreja de Santa Maria de Marvila, believed to have been built over the site of an old Islamic mosque before the 12th century. It has had much architectural intervention over the course of history, the latest in the middle of the 20th century.

I didn't get a chance to go to any restaurants in Santarém, but there was a nice-looking place at inside the Porta do Sol garden.

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