Setubal

For a unique slice of Spanish history, the tiny city of Setubal has recently become a tourist hotspot.  Setubal has never lost its small charm appeal, although it is just 30 kilometres south of the capital of Lisbon. The population of Setubal is 89,000 with a municipality population of 118,700 residents.

Among the many sights to see in Setubal are:

Church of the Monastery of Jesus:  Founded in 1490 and constructed through 1495, this large church is one of the first completed in the late Gothic style called Manueline.  When damaged by earthquakes, the church was repaired to its original splendour.  The Museu de Jesus, which is located in the church, contains several painting from the 15th and 16th centuries featuring Flemish and Portuguese painters.

Santa Maria de Graca:  Constructed in the 16th century, this church features ornate tiles from the 18th century throughout the church.

Museu de Arqueologia e Etnografia:  A museum dedicated to the local history of Setubal and the Iberian Peninsula as a whole, contains everything from pots from the Bronze Age to cork processing.

Castelo de Sao Filipe:  First constructed to protect the Port of Setubal from invaders, this castle has been recently converted into a stylish hotel (pousada) for tourists.  The castle was built in the 16th century.

Cetobriga:  Located just out of town, Cetobriga is the remains of an ancient Roman civilization, partially submerged under water.

Setubal has the third largest port in Portugal, in part to how the city is and port is protected from the brunt of the Atlantic.  Setubal sits upon a peninsula of its own, and has many tree-lined boulevards and other scenic thoroughfares.  Many parks help to make the city pedestrian friendly.  The Mediterranean subtropical climate (mild winters, warm to hot summers) helps to make Setubal a desired vacation spot for tourists.

Served by the Lisbon Portela Airport, the city of Setubal is a 34 kilometre drive. In order to get to the city and around to all the sites, consider car hire at Lisbon airport as this will make your trip much more enjoyable.

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