Walking Discovering the Historic Centre of the City of Santarém (Santarém)
I have repeatedly go by next to Santarém, in trips to the south of Portugal, but actually never had the opportunity to stop and calmly know the capital of the Ribatejo. Today was the day.
This hike begins near the beautiful market of Santarém, opened in 1930. My eyes immediately jump out to the tile panels that line the exterior doorways of the stores. In order to, at the time, promote the tourism of this region, these panels subsequently placed after the opening of the market, depict the cultural heritage, natural, monumental and ethnographic of Santarém.
I walk to “Jardim da Liberdade” where I find several works of art, among which, the Prior of Crato Monument, that in this city was proclaimed king in 1580. I turn left on “Dr. Teixeira Guedes” Street and proceeding to “Guilherme de Azevedo” Street where I found in a small alley, the bust of this poet and contemporary journalist of Ramalho Ortigão and Eça de Queiroz.
Now I walk in the cobblestone path of “Serpa Pinto” Street where the shops and other small businesses still gives life to this artery of the city. I arrive at “Largo de Marvila” and I found the Church of “Nossa Senhora da Assunção de Marvila”. The buildings lined with old tiles show all their beauty, even if some of them seem uninhabited.
In “São Martinho” Street is impossible not to notice the grandeur of the Church of “S. João de Alporão” with the stone facade worn by time. Built in the century XII, it currently has installed the Centre of Art and Archaeology of Santarém Municipal Museum. Across the street, the “Cabaças” Tower or Clock Tower holds the bronze bell and eight ceramic pieces shaped like gourds that are intended to cause the bell sound resonance when it rings. It was built in the Century XV, above the existing tower of the walled enclosure of the medieval town. About 50m of this, the building of the old “Rosa Damasceno” Theater is falling down, gradually yielding to passing time … and who passes by it can not help feeling some sadness for the decline that it has undergone.
I walk now at 5 October Avenue towards the Garden of “Portas do Sol”. This is definitely a must-visit place in Santarém. From here, a unique landscape over the Tejo river is offered to us, that is worth contemplating slowly. The old walls and two doors (the Sun and Santiago) are what remains of the castle that for centuries stood overlooking the Tejo.
A unique landscape over the Tejo river is offered to us, that is worth contemplating slowly.
Back to 5 October Avenue to further turn left and discover the Church of “Santa Maria da Graça”, in the “Largo Pedro Álvares Cabral”. With characteristics of gothic architecture is a temple full of interesting sites.
I continue to walk towards the Church of “Santo Estevão” at “Miguel Bombarda” Street. The narrow arteries of this ancient town, quickly get me to the “Largo Cândido dos Reis” and outline it by the Church of “Nossa Senhora de Jesus do Sítio” to follow the Brazil Avenue. I turn right to the Municipal Market where I started walking and getting on, past the Bandstand, after the Monastery of St. Francis and to the impressive Church of “Santa Clara”.
I return now to the point where I began to walk to the end this hike, not without seeing the “Sá da Bandeira” Square and discover the Church of “Nossa Senhora da Piedad” and the Church of “Nossa Senhora da Conceição”.
This walk through Santarém is coated with so many interesting sites, like the buildings, landscapes or cultural heritage. More than enough reasons to visit the city at the next opportunity.
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