Setubal Tourist Attractions
The industrial city and district capital of Setúbal, situated on the wide estuary of the Rio Sado, is Portugal's fourth largest city and third largest port, with important fish canneries, a car assembly plant, shipyards and saltpans.
The Roman town which occupied this site was founded in the fifth C. to replace the Celtic settlement of Cetobriga on the Tróia peninsula to the southeast, which was destroyed by a tidal wave.A royal residence for a time in the 15th C., Setúbal is also the birthplace of the poet and satirical writer Manuel Maria de Barbosa du Bocage (1765-1805; small museum in the house where he was born in the Rua do Sao Domingo).TownscapeSetúbal is quite attractive for an industrial city. On the Rio Sado waterfront are the docks, the marina and the fishing harbor, where brisk auctions take place every morning when the fishermen have unloaded the day's catch. North of the waterfront runs one of the city's main throughfares, the Avenida de Luisa Todi, named after the celebrated operasinger (1754-1833), who was born in Setúbal. The crowded and picturesque old town, centerd around the Praça do Bocage with its statue of the poet, is on the other side of this avenue, and contains the few sights of the city spared by the 1755 earthquake.
Igreja de Jesús
The Igreja de Jesús is in the west of the old town. It was Portugal's first Manueline church, begun in 1490/91 under the direction of Diogo de Boytaca, who went on to be architect of the convents at Batalha and Belém. Inside the relatively unadorned exterior can be seen impressive stellar vaulting in the choir and azulejo scenes from the life of the Virgin.
Museu de Setúbal
The monastic buildings adjoining the Igreja de Jesús and 17th C. Arrábida marble cloister of the Convento de Jesús now house the city's museum, with pictures by Portuguese, Flemish and Catalan artists and local archeological discoveries.
Igreja de Sao Juliao
The church of Sao Juliao just southeast of the Praça do Bocage is worth seeing. Originally 16th C., it was almost completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake.
Igreja de Santa Maria da Graça
The church of Santa Maria da Graça at the east end of the old town dates back to a 13th C. building which was almost completely reconstructed in the 16th C. Its carved and gilded altars date from the 16th and 17th C., and the azulejos are 18th C.
Archeology and Folklore Museum
The Archeology and Folklore Museum next door to the Igreja de Santa Maria da Graça, has displays of tools and implements used in farming and fishing around Setúbal, and also model ships.
Address: Avenida Luísa Todi 162, Portugal
Opening hours: 9am-12:30pm, 2pm-5:50pm; Closed: Sun, Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Anniversity of the Revolution - Portugal (Apr 25), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), National Day - Portugal (Jun 10), Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), Republic Day - Portugal (Oct 5), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8), Independence Day - Portugal (Dec 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian, Corpus Christi - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Castelo de Sao Filipe
Above the city, to the west, is the Castelo de Sao Filipe, built in the late 16th C. by the Italian military engineer Filippo Terzi. Part of it is now a pousada and there is a good view from here over the city and its surroundings.
Vila Fresca de Azeitao
Some 15km/9mi west of Setúbal is the village of Vila Fresca de Azeitao, with the church of Sao Simao, with 17th C. azulejo decoration, and the Quinta das Torres, now a hotel surrounded by lovely gardens.
Palácio da Bacalhoa
The nearby Palácio da Bacalhoa (privately owned), on the road to Setúbal, is a late 15th C. three part building with Moorish domed towers, which was substantially altered in the 16th C. In the middle of its magnificent park stands the Casa de Prazer, a pleasure seat with an early tile version of Susanna and the Elders (mid 16th C.).
Quinta das Torres
A courtyard with orange trees and a central fountain in Quinta das Torres is the best example of renaissance architecture in Portugal. The orange groves are fed by two fountains in the form of shells and in the center is a cool pavilion with twelve columns and a cupola.
Vila Nogueira de Azeitao
Vila Nogueira de Azeitao, 2km/1.25mi west of Vila Fresca de Azeitao. It has the palace of the Dukes of Aveiro, built by Jorge de Lencastre between 1520 and 1523.
Quinta da Bacalhoa
Costa de Lisboa, Troia
Tróia holiday village, its high rise buildings making it visible from afar, is at the northern tip of the Peninsula de Tróia, a spit of land extending into the lagoon at the mouth of the Rio Sado, southwest of Setúbal (ferry and fast motor launch services).
The peninsula, which boasts the longest sandy beach in Portugal (30km/19mi), great stretches of dunes and areas of woodland but few roads, is ideal for walking.
Map of Setubal Attractions