Strategically sited SANTARÉM, set on a plateau on the banks of the Rio Tejo, already had a long history before Portugal was ever an independent nation. An important Roman trading city was sited here, and from the eighth to the twelfth centuries Shantarin was one of the most important and cultured Moorish cities on the Iberian peninsula. Accordingly, its conquest in 1147 by Afonso Henriques was hugely significant and in later medieval times Santarém became a royal favourite, decorated with grand Gothic buildings and hosting regular meetings of the Cortes (Parliament). There’s little if nothing left of Roman or Moorish times but, with its two exquisite churches and surviving old-town alleys and squares, modern Santarém remains a pleasant place to visit – not least for the unrivalled view across the plains from the Portas do Sol, the former site of the Moorish citadel and Reconquista castle.

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9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

From Gothic monasteries and riverside palaces, to Moorish castles that loom over terraced hillsides, Portugal has a good deal of striking places to stay. Its c…

12 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Heading to the Portuguese capital this year? Whether you want rich history or shops galore, these are the best areas to stay in Lisbon according to our expert.…

09 Feb 2016 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
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