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.

Santarem - Portas do Sol

The Jardim das Portas do Sol is a great place to get some stunning views over the river and surrounding plains.

Santarem - Portas do Sol

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.

Santarem - Portas do Sol

Santarem - Portas do Sol

Santarem - Portas do Sol

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.

Santarem - Igreja de Graca

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.

Santarem - Marvila

Santarem - Marvila

Santarem - Marvila

Santarem - Marvila

Santarem - Marvila

Santarem - Marvila

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.

Santarem - Misericordia

Santarem - Misericordia

Santarem - Misericordia

Santarem - Misericordia

Santarem - Misericordia

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.

Santarem - Alcacova

Santarem - Alcacova

Santarem - Alcacova

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.

Related posts for more places in Portugal

The beautiful walled city of Obidos

Coimbra – an old university and so much more

Vouzela – what a hidden gem

Viseu – a charming city with so much to see

Ovar – City of tiles

The beautiful staircases of Braga and Lamego

Bussaco Palace – an enchanting place to stay