SERRA DE AIRE

PicMonkey Collage Serra de Aire

The Serra de Aire is located in the heart of Estremadura limestone massif, rising up to 678m above sea level. It covers the municipalities of Ourém, Porto de Mós, Alcanena and Torres Novas, making the boundary between Ribatejo and the West. Together with its neighbouring Serra dos Candeeiros, it gives the name to the Natural Park of Serra de Aire and Candeeiros, which cover even the Serra da Mendiga. Known for its impressive natural caves situated in the Natural Park, the most important of which is the Spring River Almonda’s Cave, located in Vale da Serra, in the Torres Novas’ municipality. This amazing “subsurface treasure” extends for 15km in which were found various archaeological deposits from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Roman period.

Places of interest:
Natural Monument of the Dinosaurs’ Footprints of Serra de Aire (Ourém)
River Beach of Olhos d’Água from Alviela– located 19km from Torres Novas
Living Science Centre – The Karstscope(Alviela – fluvial beach)
Polje of Mira-Minde (Mira d’Aire, Minde)
Arrimal Lagoons(Arrimal, Porto de Mós)
CISGAP – The Underground Cave Algar do Pena Interpretation Centre (Vale de Mar, Alcanede)
Salt Fields (Fonte da Bica, Rio Maior)

TORRES NOVAS

PicMonkey Collage Torres Novas

Since the remote timesof the Palaeolithic humans have been leaving marks of their presence in the land of Torres Novas located on the edge of the karst network of Almonda River, as the caves of Buraca da Moura e da Oliveira or the Lapa da Bugalheira.
Some time later, in the early days of Roman rule, Cardílio and Avita became owners o fone of the several “villae” that exist in the area, the Villa Cardilium, which was inhabited from the 1st to the 4th century and among its ruins were found panels of colourful mosaics, coins, sculptures, along with the Latin inscription that in one interpretation wishes happiness to the couple in their “villa da torre”, expression associated with a plausible origin for the toponym Torres Novas.
As from the 12th century, the territory, then known as Tarries, began to gain its current outlines, with the expulsion of the Arab invaders by the troops of King Alonso I of Portugal (1148).
The town began to be drawn around the Castle, a unique monument in the country with its 11 towers, and has expanded over the centuries by the slope down to the shore of Almonda, whose small bridges favor a land tourhelp touring the lands.
Nowadays, when we observe the Medieval fortress, we can understand the reason for Greeks, Romans, Celts and Arabs waiting settle here and fought hard for the dominance of the fortress, which was so many times destroyed that it ended up havin several times… new towers (torres novas).

Places of interest:
Castle of Torres Novas
Carlos Reis Museum
5 October Square
Natural Park of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros (PNSAC)
Roman Ruins of Villa Cardílio
Almonda Caves
Almonda River
Beselga’s Stream
Natural Monument of the Dinosaur Footprints
Natural Reserve of Paul do Boquilobo

TOMAR

PicMonkey Collage Tomar

In the 1st century BC, in what is now Tomar, the village of Nabância was founded, crossed by the river Nabanis, located on the outskirts of the prominente town that Emperor Augustus would found the following century and call Sellium. This latter town included the Roman road, which linked Olisipo (Lisbon) and Bracara Augusta (Braga) to Emerita (Mérida), as well as the wine trade route, which included Mediterranean provinces.
The city was abandoned in the second half of the 5th century and repopulated from the 12th century, when King Afonso I of Portugal conquered the region from the Moors (1147) and donated by Royal Charter to the Order of the Temple (1159). In 1160, the Templar Master Dom Gualdim Pais began the construction of the castle of Tomar.

The layout of the Medieval town is a cross with 4 arms pointing to 4 cardinal points marked by the 4 convents in the town. The centre, where the Town Hall and the Mother Church are situated, is the Praça da República. It is from here that the main public and religious buildings radiate: to the south, the Synagogue, the old Misericórdia Hospital, the S. Francisco Convent and the old town square; to the north, the seat of the Municipal Assembly, the Chapels of S. Gregório and Nossa Senhora da Piedade and the old Anunciada Convent; to the west, the CastIe hilI, the litle Senhora da Conceição chapel and the Convent of Christ; to the east, the bridge, the old MilIs and Presses, the Sta Iria Convent, the way to the Sta Maria do Olival Church and the school area ending with the Polytechnic. lf we follow this symbolic geometry, it is interesting to note that with the “Marnueline” church in the centre, the Praça da República, there is a circle that unites the Charola of the Convent (the Templar Oratory) to the Anunciada, Sta Iria and S. Francisco Convents. It was in this circle, in this holy space, that Tomar developed.
Tomar is located 22km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
The Christ Convent, the Castle of the Templars, Seven Mounts National Forrest, Chapel of he Immaculate Conception, Pegões Aqueduct
Chapel of São Gregório
Chapel of Santa Iria
Chapel of São Lourenço
Church of Santa Maria dos Olivais
Museum of the Matches and St Francisco Convent
Museum Luso-Hebrew Abrãao Zacuto (Synagogue)
Republic Square, St John Baptist Church, Dom Gualdim Pais Statue,
Tapir of Vale da Laje
Nabão River, Mouchão wheel and garden
Castelo de Bode Dam

VILA NOVA DA BARQUINHA

PicMonkey Collage Vila Nova da Barquinha

The strategic location of the region was soon recognized by the invading Roman and Arabs, the castle of Almourol,the origins of which are attributed to theses two-peoples is a defensive fortress built on an islet in the Tagus river that Dom Gualdim Pais was to rebuild after the Christian Reconquest.
The Moors were defeated by the troops of Dom Afonso I of Portugal in the year 1129, and then the territory was parto f the portuguese kingdom until its donation to the Order of the Temple (1169).
The history of the municipality of Barquinha is inevitably the history of the river Tagus: the maritime trade and survival fishing. The importance of the Tagus river in trade and communication routes strengthened and was reognized during the Philippine domain with deep works in the riverbed which favoured the conditions of navigability and the connection with Spain (17th century), as well as by the construction of the river port in the Riverside cluster named “Barca” due to the decline of Tancos (18th century).
This simple place with a boat (“barca”) to cross to the left bank of the river was called Barquinha (“little boat”) since 1771.
Vila Nova da Barquinha is located 17km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
Castle of Almourol
21 Ethnographic Museums
Engineering Museum
Museum of Airlines
Almourol Contemporary Sculpture Park
Interpretation Centre of Archaeology of High Ribatejo
Bull Ring
Tancos’ Main Church
Atalaia’s Main Church
Science Education Integrated Centre

Adventure activities:
Clube Náutico Barquinhense (Sailing Club)
– Canoeing, Rafting, Paintball, Rappel, Slide;
Pára Clube Nacional “Os Bóinas Verdes” – Parachuting, Ballooning, Horseback riding, Scuba diving;
Grupo de Cicloturismo Barquinhense – Cycling, Mountain biking.

FÁTIMA

PicMonkey Collage Fátima

The town of Fátima belongs to the municipality of Ourém and is located in the heart of Serra de Aire.
The story of Fátima is associated with three children (the little shepherds of Fátima), Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta that on 13th May 1917, when they were grazing their sheep in Cova da Iria, witnessed the appearance of a lady in white. The Lady, later referred as the Lady of the Rosary, appeared to have been sent by God with a message: pray, do penance and consecrate.
The strengthening in the belief has boosted the construction of the Fátima Sanctuary, one of the greatest spiritual value spaces in Marian devotion worldwide, starting with the Chapel of the Apparitions in 1919, followed by the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary (1928) and, more recently, the Basilica of the Holy Trinity (2007).
Since the apparitions of the Lady of the Rosary to the little shepherds, the secrets revealed by Her and which remained undisclosed for years, the Miracle of the Sun witnessed by thousands of people, Fátima is a place of worship and pilgrimage of thousand of faithful.
Fátima is located 21km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary
Basilica of the Holy Trinity
Chapel of the Apparitions
Valinhos
Via Crucis and Calvary
Loça do Anjo
The Shepherds Village
Wax Museum
Interactive Museum “The Miracle of Fatima”
Life of Christ Museum
Museum of Sacred Art and Ethnology
Cave of the Parrot (Gruta do Papagaio)
Pia do Urso – theme park and pedestrian circuit

OURÉM

PicMonkey Collage Ourém

The presence of humankind in Ourém dates way back from the presence of the Portuguese. The village of Agroal (Formigais), as well as the caves of Lapa dos Furos (Formigais) and Casal do Papagaio (Fátima), confirm the occupation in the area since Palaeolithic times.
Some of these archaeological sites contain traces of several historical periods, including the Roman period, during which the “villae” of Sandoeira (Rio de Couros) and Coinas (Atouguia) were founded.
At the time of the Christian Reconquest, more precisely in the year 1136, Dom Afonso I of Portugal expelled the Arab armies of the lands of “Abdegas”and conquered the Moorish Castle of Auren, whose name influenced the toponymy of the munucpality; or according to the legend of Princess Fátima, Ourém name stems from Oureana, the Christian name a Moor princess named Fátima adopted (name that was assigned to the town of Fátima), who converted to Christianity after falling in love with a Christian knight.
Ourém is located 24km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
River beach of Agroal – Integrates the largest source of the Nabão river, appreciated for its cool waters, with reputation for being thermal.
Castle of Ourém
Ancient Town of Ourém and Village Door or Door of Santarém
Palace of the Counts of Ourém
Main Church of Ourém/ Church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade
Buildings of the Old Prisions/ Manor House of Bacchus
Crypt and Tomb of Dom Afonso
Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição
Manor House of the Administrator of the Counts of Bragança
Municipal Museum of Ourém – Core Administrator’s House
Pillory
Gothic Font
Sweethearts’ Bridge/ Ribeirinho’s Fountain
D. João P. Venancio Garden
Natural Monumento of Dinosaurs of Ourém/Torres Novas

ABRANTES

PicMonkey Collage Abrantes

Numerous archaeological remains from different historical times discovered in the municipality can attest of Abrantes’ antiquity. Among the vestiges, the Prehistoric dolmens of of the village, the ruins of the oppidum of Aritium Vetusin Alvega, the Roman bridge of Alferrarede – Entre Ribeiras, and the Visigothic necropolis of Rio de Moinhos.
In the middle of the 1st century, Dom Afonso I of Portugal left deep marks with the conquest of the territory from the Moors in 1148, followed by the donation of the Castle and the region of Abrantes to the Order of Santiago de Espada in 1173.
An enchanted legend is associated to the origin of Abrantes
Abrantes is located 35km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
Fuvial Beach of Aldeia do Mato
Fortress/Castle of Abrantes
Outeiro of São Pedro
Church of São Vicente
Church of St. John the Baptist
Church of Santa Maria do Castelo
Museum D. Lopo de Almeida
Former Convento of São Domingo/ Municipal Library of Abrantes
Hermitage of Santa Ana
Ruins of the Oppidum of Aritium Vetus
Roman Bridge of Alferrarede/ Moorish Bridge

GOLEGÃ

PicMonkey Collage Golegã

Golegã is a small rural village situated between the rivers Tagus and Almonda.
The human presence in these parts dates back to the Early Superior Chalcolithic attested by remains of utensils and fortified buildings.
This village was born in the first flush of nationality, when a woman from Galicia settled there and opened an inn. From then on it was renamed Venda da Galega, Póvoa da Galega, Vila da Galega and later «Golegã».
The horse is the ex-libris of the city, as well as the fighting bull and the campino.
The most prestigious and ancient Lusitano horse stud farms in the world are located in this region
Annually held in Golegã, in early November, the National Horse Fair is held in annually in Golegã in early November, it is the biggest horse fair in the country, it’s unique in the world, which makes Golegã the Mecca for all lovers of the Lusitano horse, gaining year after year, more and more domestic and foreign fans.
Golegã is located 11km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
Main Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição
Studio-House Carlos Relvas
Municipal Museum of the Typewriter
The Equuspolis Complex including the Sculpture and Paiting Museum from Master Martins Correia, an Art Gallery and a Museum of Horse’s History
Lusitanu Riding Centre
Quinta da Cardiga

ENTRONCAMENTO

PicMonkey Collage Entroncamento

The town of Entroncamento dates from the mid-19th century with the dawn of the railway construction, and started out as a simple railway station. The name of the town derives from the railway junction that was formed there with the intersection of the lines from North and East, in 1864. At the time when the train was the most widely used means of transport, many illustrious travellers from Europe by East Line, or making the reverse journey, had lunch or dinner at the station’s restaurant. In their literary works, several writers mentioned it: Hans Christian Andersen, Ramalho Ortigão, Eça de Queiroz, Alberto Pimentel, Luzia Luísa de Freitas Lomelino’s pen name) and Eduardo Meneres.
This is also the land known for its “phenomena”, a terminology that dates back to the 50s of the previous century. According to popular reports, extraordinary or even fantastic events happen, which to this day receive some media coverage.
Entroncamento is located 7km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
National Railway Museum – that save national treasures as the Royal Train or the Portuguese Presidential Train.
Railway Quarters
Bonito’s Green Park
Chapel of St. John Baptist
Fountain of Vaginhas
School of Camões
Main Church

CONSTÂNCIA

PicMonkey Collage Constância

Constância is a pretty village nestled between the rivers Tagus and Zêzere, a sort of Peninsula, often fondly known “Vila Poema” because it was the place of residence of the great Portuguese poet, Luís de Camões, who took inspiration from this village to some of his works.
Once called “Punhete”, in this location lived Iberians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. Constância depended a lot of river transport, construction and naval repair, crossing and fishing.
Its reality has changed with the arrival of the railway in the 19th century, and of road transport in the mid-20th century, and with the construction of dams that surround it, currently it is an increasingly tourist destination.
Constância is located 20km from Torres Novas.

Places of interest:
Home-Memory of Camões
Garden of Camões, Macau Garden, Planetarium of Ptolomy
Camões Monument
The Palace
Rivers and Maritime Arts Museum
Alexandre Herculano Square
Pillory
Santo Antoninho’s Bridge
Bridge over the Tagus River
House-Museum Vasco de Lima Couto
Farm and Chapel of Santa Bárbara
Roman Ruins of Alcolobre
Clock Towers/ Viewpoint of Time
Church of Mercy
Main Church of Constância

TOP