| Localisation | | Bullfights | | Traditional crafts | | The
| The river side | History | | Traditional architecture| | The
| Santarém |
| Contacts | | Region
All the charm of
this rich province awaits you along the banks of the
Tagus. The river moulds the character of the area and
forges the development of the people.
T'he unique countryside of the river and meadowland
blends at the meeting place of Estremadura and Alentejo,
earning Ribatejo the noble title of "Heart of
To the north, on the right bank of the Tagus are
limestone and clay lands, prolofic in olive and fig trees
grown in small divisions tipifying Roman culture, right
up to the entrance of Santarém. To the south, on the
left bank of the river, we can imagine the open land,
even though its lost to view by large wooded areas or
sandy tracts that the Saracen fortified and cultivated.
ln the centre, are the meadows and pastures, rich in
cereal produce, enúched by the alluvial plains. For
centuries this has been home to the most aristocratic
Ribatejan resident: the bull, the horse and man.
Do not believe the
old story of the "Last Bullfight in
Salvaterra", as it is in Salvaterra de Magos, in the
summer rnonths, that you can see a magnificent display,
led by horse back riders renowned throughout the
Bullfights in the Ribatejo start with courage and
strenght to challenge the buli... animais which are tried
and tested in the fields, long before they arrive in the
ln this beautiful area from Ben ent legã and heart of
the "brave bull" country lies between Golegã
and Azambuja, from the woods to abundantly rich pastores.
We see the novice in the ring, practising for harder
tasks which lie ahead, waiting for the bulls, a typical
part of Ribatejo Festivals... he has to master the skill
to domineer the bull. Then to display in public, the art
of horse back riding with great daring. The art which is
adored by every local man and woman.
One upon a time, bullfighting in Portugal served as
preparation for war. Today, bullfighting is like a final
exam, after long years of hard work when the Ribatejan
excels himself with audacity, courage, gallantary and
Come to see this national spectacle, choosing a Ribatejo
bullfing, of course!
Here in the
Ribatejo, the visitor will enjoy the inumerable local
markets, cathedrals, and a variety of beautiful sights.
Every type of art can be savoured in the Ribatejo, in its
own setting, and where the visitor can see for himself
yards and bull breeding arcas.
The region has many tradicional crafts such as tanneries
in Alcanena and textiles in Minde, as well as related
industries from the historic past ... ceramics from
Golegã and Chamusca, wicker dolls from Constância.
There are ancient skilled arts in the Ribatejo which the
visitor will find hard to imagine.
ln the countryside there is winegrowing and in Alpiarça
and Almeirim basketry. Also the ancient art of glass
blowing, some of which is straw covered.
Coming again to the plains, admire the charm of the
Benavente stockings made from linen, and favoured by the
local population. Shepherds, with great patience, carve
objects from the cork oak and the ash, whittling time
away. lf you pass through Coruche, don't forget to visit
a leather factory.
You will appreciate that the Ribatejans are proud people
and it is not only the older members of the community
that apply themselves to local arts; you can go to
Glória do Ribatejo and see the younger generation
embroidering hoods and aprons. Also, in the centre of the
town of Santarém, or a little further on in Tremês, see
young hands carefully shaping clay for omaments or
objects in daily use. Go to Benavente or Golegã and
actually help in the iron forges.
Here lies one of our secrets, there is still a quality of
country life using wicker baskets, water pitchers, sieves
for separating the grain from the husk... also
tradicional bread and cheese making!
Come to Ribatejo and get to know the genuine craftsl
start... there was once a river who has everything. For
you, our visitor, travelling upstream or down, the Tagus
dominares, and commands all of us living in this land.
Along the river, we find the Castelo do Bode Dam which is
on the Zêzere near Constância, held waiting for the
gates to be opened so it can join the main stream.
lt would be a good idea for the visitor to leave his car
from time to time, to explore the delights of the
surroundings, offering beauty and charm at every tum.
Visit Paúl do Boquilobo in Golegã, the remains of
Almonda's walls. Almonda - where we find a Natural
Reserve, rich in ornithology, the home of many herons,
looking for suitable nesting places at the end of every
At one extreme of the province, we find Benavente, on the
Tagus estuary, bordering the Natural Reserve, one of the
last refuges for migratory birds... flamingos, tailors,
||The river side
On the Tagus, from
Golegã to Salvaterra de Magos; from Constância to
Azambuja, there are numerous small coves and beaches
where you can bathe, which have been there for
generations. lley each have a special nostalgia for the
local people, sometimes being used for picnicking, some
for sleeping away a Sunday aftemoon and for the braver,
jumping into the tiver.
Today it is the city visitor who comes to see us; the
spaces are huge; it is peaceful and delightful for
children. Make a note during your journey, of the
beautiful little beaches and the secluded corners which
are a paradise for fishermen. Among others are Praia Doce
(Salvaterra de Magos); Patacão de Cima (Alpiarça);
Porto do Patacão (Chamusca), or, on the opposite bank of
the river, Caneiras (Santarém); Palhota and Valada
(Cartaxo) and "Vala Real" (Azambuja).
Motor boat sports take place on the Magos Dam (Salvaterra
de Magos), or choose a more relaxing pastime on the weirs
of Monte da Barca or Agolada in Coruche. Beautiful open
spaces, forests of rare beauty, offer serenity alongside
the dam water.
From the Alfageme
in Santarém to the now extinct royal palace in Almeirim;
from the exile of Camões in Constância, to the woods in
Coruche dedicated in song by Gil Vicente - all speak of
the Ribatejo's history; the history of Portugal. It is
now time to be both the reader and discoverer and live in
Naturally, you will start with the Gothic era; come to
Santarém - you will be amazed at the Graça Church
façade, or quietly enjoy the simplicity of the interior
of the Clara Church. Explore the town, a histodc centre.
Pause in front of the Seminary and pass from Gothic to
Barroque. Allowing more time, visit the Archaelogical
Museum of São João de Alporão, containing impressive
remains from the times of the Romans, Arabs, etc.
Speaking of museums, how about a contrasting diversion in
this unique area! We have two examples; there is the
sumptuous Casa dos Patudos Museum and the simple
Municipal Museum in Benavente.
This then is the wealth of the Ribatejo. Look for the
best of our paintings, the richness of the furnishings,
the finest carpets. Delight in the charm of the regional
costumes; the love with which the cottages are decorated;
understand the knowledge still displayed in the old
agricultural implements. ln this constrast, lives the
soul of the Ribatejo; enriching us with as much good
taste as the great national political figure - the
republican José Relvas with the wisdom and diligence of
the local ethnographer Joaquim Paracho. Respectfully,
creators of two magestic estates, in Alpiarça and
Benavente - much esteemed by the community.
Speaking of museums, we must also admire the other two
parishes which we can see, rich in old objects. These are
the Cartaxo's Rural and Wine Museum - A living legend on
how to preserve the passing of time! Other themes such as
photography and painting belong to Golegã with its
supreme Museums of Carlos Relvas and Martins Correia.
Names from yesterday and today, bequeathing the best of
their work to the land and the people.
People speak of
tradicional architecture, blending into local
surroundings. So simple and effective in the seventeenth
century classic fnanor houses which lie to the north of
Santarém! - or the lofty hills in the Ribatcjo
farmlaind, eighteenth century bulldlngs, all inspire the
beauty of the countryside.
There is plenty of architecture to see on your journey,
much of it fufl of surpfises. Pass through Coruche,
stopping at Erra, a white washed world, banded in blue.
Should you prefer the unusual, let us open the window of
your imagination and you will see the light in the woods,
the simple poles supporting the waterside houses of the
river fishermen in Escaroupim (Salvaterra de Magos), in
Patacão de Cima (Alpiarça), in Caneiras (Santarém) or
in Palhotas (Cartaxo).
Let us drink to
your arrival, raising our Oasses, full of one of the best
nectars produced in Portugal. Here, in one of the fertfle
áreas of the river Tagus.
Your very good health! Climb to the Portas do Sol and
enjoy the view. First you see the white beauty of
Almeirim and Alpiarça, exquisitely clad like a debutante
at her first ball, lying on the plains of the Ribatejo...
As sure as the National Gastronomic Festival which is
faithfully celebrated in Santarém each year, at the end
To the south, on the other bank of the Tagus, are the
woven gamet tints of Cartaxo, permitting us to continue
our "feast"... easfly accomplished in the
Ribatejo, a reoon rich in a great variety of natural
There is the Tagus - the river which produces the
dehcious ingredients for the Savel bread soup or Eel
Starting with meat, let us talk about pork, deliciously
prepared in Alcanena and often grilled in Coruche and the
surrounding areas of Salvaterra de Magos and Benavente.
Try little bits with your drinks in the local bars ...
Acom-fed pork is unforgettable!
The Ribatejo produces some of the finest kid and lamb
meat in the country, try it grilled, fried, stewed or
roast. There is something for everyone's taste.
The origins of sweets from the Ribatejo are buried in
past history, particularly from the north of the
province. Many recipies came from medieval rehgious
orders such as the Templars, Christ and Avis and have
delightful names such as " Little Cheeses from the
The fields of Almeirim and Benavente, offer ideal
conditions for the cultivation of early strawberries and
melons, also other delicious produce arriving in quantity
at your table, just in time for your visit...
Welcome to the Ribatejo!
Tourism Office(Minde) Tel.:(049)840041
Town Hall - Tel.: (O49) 89 15 13
Hospital - Tel.: (O49) 88 23 22
Police (G.N.R.) - Tel.: (O49) 88 23 85
Town Hall - Tel.: (O43) 5 31 16
Hospital - Te].: (O43) 5 20 26
Police (P.S.P.) - Te].: (O43) 5 22 48
Town Hall - Tel.: (O43) 5 43 54
Hospital - Tel.: (O43) 5 44 71
Police (G.N.R.) Tel.: (O43) 5 46 59
Town Hafi - Tel.: (G63) 4 12 43
Hospital - Tel.: (O63) 4 11 29
Police (G.N.R.) - Tel.: (O63) 4 25 19
Town Hall - Tel.: (O63) 51 64 66
Hospital - Tel.: (O63) 51 65 42
Police (G.N.R.) - Tel.: (O63) 51 63 19
Town Hall - Tel.: (O43) 77 90 73
Hospital - Tel.: (O43) 77 09 33
Police (P.S.P.) - Tel.: (O43) 70 20 22
Tourism Office - Tel.: (O49) 760566/760176
Town Hall - Tel.: (O49) 760566/760176
Hospital - Tel.: (G49) 760114/119
Police (G.N.R.) - Tel.: (O49) 760261
Tourism Office - Tel.: (O49) 9 92 05
Town Hall - Tel.: (O49) 9 92 05/9 95 14
Hospital - Tel.: (O49) 9 91 15
Police (G.N.R.) - Tel.: (O49) 9 92 31
Town Hall - Tel.: (O43) 61 75 24
Hospital - Tel.: (O43) 61 71 33
Police - Tel.: (O43) 61 72 24
Town Hall - Tel.: (O49) 9 43 87
Hospital - Tel.: (O49) 9 43 69
Police (G.N.R.) - Tel.: (G49) 9 41 90
SALVATERRA DE MAGOS
Town Hall - Tel.: (O63) 5 45 19
Hospital - Tel.: (O63) 5 42 02
Police (G.N.R.) - Tel.: (O63) 5 41 18
Ribatejo Tourism Region - Tel.: (O43) 33 33 18
Tourism Office - Tel.: (O43) 39 15 12
Town Hall - Tel.: (O43) 33 30 71
Hospital - Tel.: (O43) 30 02 00
Police (P.S.P.) - Tel.: (O43) 2 20 22
||in "Ribatejo - Região
de Turismo do Ribatejo"