Santarem

Santarem is a Portuguese city and municipality. It is the capital of the district of Santarem. The city of Santarem stands on a plateau, on the right bank of the Tagus river, 65km northeast from Lisbon.

==== SANTAREM – SIGHTSEEING

Old Castle of Santarem – Located on a high slope over the Tagus river and the surrounding landscape, the site of the old castle of Santarem is now a nice garden that offers spectacular views. Part of the walls and towers of the castle are still preserved.

Church of Saint John of Alporao – Built between the 12th and the 13th centuries by the Knights Hospitallers, this church is a fine example of transitional architecture, with a Romanesque main portal and an early Gothic main chapel and vaulting. The arches of the ambulatory of the main chapel show Arab influences. The church now houses a small Archaeological Museum. Its most important piece is the flamboyant Gothic tomb of Duarte de Meneses, missed in a battle in North Africa in 1465. His magnificent tomb is empty.

Fountain of the Fig Tree – Rare example of a 14th century fountain in Portugal, decorated with merlons and coats-of-arms of Portugal and King Dinis I.

Church of Marvila – This 16th century-church has nice portal and main chapel in Manueline style. The nave and pulpit are in early Renaissance style. The interior walls are covered with 17th century multicolored tiles with geometric patterns. It has one of the most outstanding tile-based interior decorations in Portugal.

Cathedral of Santarem – Built in the 17th century in mannerist style as the Jesuit church of the city, it became the Seminary church after the Jesuits were expelled from Portugal in the mid-18th century.The interior decoration is very rich, with altarpieces from various periods and styles (Mannerist and Baroque) and a ceiling with an illusionist painting. Since the 1970’s it is the Cathedral of Santarem. The site of the church and seminary was previously occupied by the medieval royal palace of Santarem.

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