The city of Santarém overlooking the Tagus River was the home of Portugal’s kings throughout the middle ages. The city boasts some of Portugal’s finest ensemble of Gothic architecture, in its walls, churches, convents and monuments.
The Jardim das Portas do Sol is a great place to get some stunning views over the river and surrounding plains.
It’s quite incredible to stand in this park with its Roman walls and know that it has been inhabited since the 8th century BC.
While there were many great buildings in Santarem, we only had the afternoon so concentrated on some of the many churches in this beautiful city.
Igreja da Graça – built between 1380 and the start of the 1400’s, this church was quick to build and displays Gothic architecture inside and out.
Igreja de Santa Maria de Marvila – On entering, one could only gasp at this ornate church and its amazing blue tiles. While some are quite new, there were other tiles (azulejos) dating back to the 1620’s.
Igreja da Misericordia – a 16th century church built in late Renaissance architecture. The interior was spectacular as well as unusual. While we were in there, a man came and spoke to us. Oh no I thought he was going to tell us that photography was not allowed in here. Thankfully, he was telling us to make sure we visited the sacristy of the church which of course had an amazing ceiling and lots of church artefacts.
Church of Santa Maria da Alcacova – the interior was very bright but looked more like it was painted rather than the usual Portuguese tiles. Interesting though.
Of course there was so much more we could have visited if time permitted. Just wandering the old streets for hours taking photos of the tiled buildings, more churches and perhaps some monasteries and museums. Santarem has them all.
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