quinta-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2009

The City

Setúbal, one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

Setúbal is a place that manages to effortlessly reconcile the demands of a modern city with the diversity of a municipality that between the urban and the rural. It is comfortably embraced by the Sado and Arrábida, its most precious treasures, which fortunately enjoy the status of protected areas.

This happy coincidence has enabled Setúbal to be admitted to the exclusive and coveted Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, which only has a membership of thirty ocean inlets, such as S. Francisco, in the US, and Mindelo, in Cape Verde.
Its shore is exceptionally rich in fish, and the local gastronomy is identified in terms of fish dishes, in particular fish stew, cuttlefish and beans, monkfish kebab, fried cuttlefish and seafood soup.

The local confectionary, tortas (like Swiss rolls), sweet cheeses, the ‘SS’ from Azeitão, are also justly famous. And one of Portugal’s finest cheeses is also from this area: Azeitão cheese. Good wine is also produced in the Setúbal region, and the red wine made from the Periquita grape, with its pronounced fruity flavour, is especially good.

The best known nectar, however, is the Moscatel de Setúbal.

Enjoy this beautiful city

sexta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2008

Wather Mill of Mourisca

This Tide Wather Mill is on the Mourisca estate in the beach of Sado, and was built in 1601.
The 33 hectare estate belongs to the Institute of Conservation of Nature and lies within the perimeter of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve.
It contains quite a large area of marshland - abandoned rice fields - whose natural vegetation has been returning to an area of woodland consisting mostly of pine, cork oaks and shrubs.
The Mourisca Wather Mill is one of four to be found in the Sado estuary.
The structure occupies 280 sq. m. housed eight millstones, all operating at the same time, and was a working mill until the 1960s, when it fell into disuse.
The mill originally comprised one grinding room where the eight millstones were mounted on a stone and timber platform. Below the platform was a gearing mechanism that transmits the rotations of the water-wheels to the millstone’s axles.
The Sado Estuary Nature Reserve started reconstruction work on the mill in 1995.

Town Hall

Ravaged by fire at the time of the proclamation of the Republic in 1910, the Paços do Concelhos was only rebuilt many years later, in 1938, remaining faithful to the outline bestowed on it during the works carried out in the time of D. João V.

Livramento Market

The style is Art Deco, and its walls are decorated with various tiles panels depicting local scenes. It is renowned for the quality and range of produce sold there - fish, meat, fruit and vegetables.

House of Four Heads

Right in the fishing heart of the ancient town, in the Bairro do Troino, this house is interesting for the Latin inscription engraved on the lintel above the door, with a royal head, and three more heads on another corner, all worked in bas-relief. According to legend, it was from this house that an attempt was made to assassinate the king, D. João II, as he went by in the Corpo de Deus Procession.

Setúbal Aqueduct

Built by D. João II around 1487 to supply water to Setúbal. It started in the Arca da Água (Alferrara), three kilometres from Setúbal. All that remains of now is a part of the conduit on arches.

sexta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2008

Corpo Santo House

The baroque reference in Setúbal, the east side consists of a 14th century stretch of the curtain wall. This is where the Corpo Santo brotherhood, an important society of mariners, ship-owners and fishermen had their headquarters. It consists of three rooms (an antechamber, chapel and sacristy) in which tiles, carvings, ceilings and floors unite in complete harmony. The building is now occupied by the Municipal Tourist Information Office and an exhibition room.

Arrábida Convent

Founded in the 16th century by Franciscan friars, with the help of the Duke of Aveiro. The white of the building stands our from the green of the Arrábida hills, and its architecture blends easily with its natural surroundings. It comprises 40 tiny cells, a small refectory, a kitchen, library and the church.
Close to the convent are several cabins (stations of the Cross), the Bom Jesus chapel and the Old Convent - the cells inhabited by the 1st community: Today it belongs to the Fundação Oriente and functions as a Conference Centre.

São Julião Church

Dating from the second half of the 13th century, it was rebuilt in the 16th century and badly damaged by the 1755 earthquake. All that remain from the Manueline building are two doors, one of which is particularly fine. Inside is guilt-work from the 18th century, paid for by the fishermen of Setúbal.

Santa Maria da Graça Church

This is the heart of the old mediaeval town, around which the most important mediaeval district grew up, making it the religious and political-administrative centre of the city. Founded in the 13th century, the present building is a reconstruction dating from the height of the renaissance, with an impressive Mannerist façade.

Convent of Jesus

Founded in 1490 and completed in 1500, this is one of the milestones of Manueline architecture in Portugal. It is closed at the moment, and only the church can be visited. This is noteworthy for being the first so-called ‘hall-church’ in Portugal, with superb twisted columns. The chancel is covered with azulejos de caixilho (‘picture-frame’ tiles), and a painted retable was installed there between 1520-1530. This is regarded as one of the finest pieces of Renaissance art in Portugal, and is displayed in the Renaissance Painting Gallery adjoining the church.

terça-feira, 21 de outubro de 2008

Roman Cetarius (fishmonger)

Through the glass floor of the Setúbal Regional Tourism building we can see the remains of an ancient fish-curing factory, dating from the Roman occupation, a period when Setúbal was an important industrial centre.

sexta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2008

São Filipe Fort

Built by Philip II of Spain (Philip I of Portugal), it is in the shape of an irregular star with six points. ´
The interior originally included the Governor’s Residence and other military buildings, but it was completely changed to accommodate one of Portugal’s Pousadas in the wake of a fierce fire that destroyed almost all the interior structures.

A small baroque chapel, completely covered with glazed tiles dated 1736, signed by Policarpo Oliveira Bernardes, still remains.