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Santarém Portugal: One of Portugal's Most Important Cities

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From its ridge-top position, the city of Santarém in Portugal overlooks the Tagus River. This city in the municipality of Santarem boasts of a wealth of historical events and is considered by many to be the Gothic capital in Portugal. Because of its strategic location in the center of the country and size, it only has Lisbon to beat as the most important city in the southern half of Portugal. However, because it is so close to Lisbon, that makes it a wonderful place to visit if you want to see “the real Portugal” and Portuguese people, while staying away from the Lisbon crowds. It boasts many tourist attractions such as; the Jardim das Portas do Sol, Igreja da Graca, the Museu Diocesano de Santarem, and Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park.

Santarém is an ancient city that originates in the Iron Age where the famous Julius Caesar made it an administrative center. Like most of Portugal, over the centuries it has been ruled by the Moors, Muslims, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and Carthaginians.  

The city boasts the tomb of Cabral, where the discoverer of Brazil, Igreja da Graca, was buried. Today, the city has over 500,000 thousand inhabitants with the region covering about 6747 square kilometers. The river Tagus that surrounds the plateau provides a good historic and tourist attraction. The best vantage point to view the river is from the beautiful and historic Jardim das Portas do Sol. The city has a calendar that features prominent events throughout the year. For instance, in June there is The National Agriculture Fair where people display their cattle and agricultural produce for all to see. You can also visit the region in October when the National Gastronomy Festival is held. 

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