Santarém, Cidade do Mundo
Câmara Municipal de Santarém
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Convento de S. Francisco
| Santarém's Heritage |

 

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Santarém's Heritage   Despite its importance during the Middle Age and Modern Times (when the Village and its plethora of monuments was chosen by Monarchs, Knights and Clergymen as a stage for the most important political, religious, social and cultural events of their age), after the 16th century, Santarém decended into a period of decay.

This decay became particularly pronounced during the 19th century when, under the influence of Liberalism, many of its monuments were demolished. Unfortunately, this destruction continued throughout the 20th century as many other important historical remains of the city were sacrificed to the spirit of modernisation.

During recent years, however, the Town Hall worked to raise awareness and to support and lead the growing civil impetus for the defence of the city's heritage. Measures designed to protect Santarém's heritage and to promote cultural recognition and appreciation of its monuments have been put in place, amongst which the following are particularly worthy of mention:
* The implementation of a new Municipal policy for Santarém including the initial regulations relating to urban intervention and how they should be implemented within the historical centre of Santarém;
* The creation of a Local Technical Forum: a diverse team whose main objective would be to intervene within Santarém's historical centre, in accordance with a strategy of coordinated restoration;
* The renovation of the acient Municipal Museum of
S. João de Alporão;
* The project to create a number of peripheral museums within monuments to act as focal centres for their particular locality such as
Torre das Cabaças (Cabaças Tower), Convento de S. Francisco (Franciscan Convent) or Igreja de Santa Maria de Alcáçova (Church of Santa Maria of Alcáçova) ;
* The opening of several classified monuments to the public;
* The issuing of numerous publications about the above mentioned monuments.

This movement for awareness raising reached its peak with the decision to seek recognition as a "Heritage City of the World". This is expected to coincide with a period of regeneration for Santarém, embracing a new concept for the city where the historical centre aspires to take on an active and envolving role and where both preservation and modernisation can exist side by side.

We, the citizens of Santarém, hope that this exhibition of our historical and cultural heritage motivates and inspires each and every visitor with a common desire for a better future for Santarém and, through this, ultimately to the emergence of new types of public and private organisations, adopting new codes of practice, forming new partnerships and pursuing new visions throughout all the historical centers of the world.
 

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