Friday, February 12, 2010

The city of Setubal, homeland of José Mourinho

Emerge yourself in a land of history and natural beauty.

Since 2002 that Setubal is part of the list "The most beautiful bays in the world", an organisation that only 30 bays in the entire world are part of. To be in this very selective list the location needs to have quality beaches and good conditions for nautic sports. Setubal has this and much more.

Homeland of Jose Mourinho, it was here in the city of Setubal where he started his career coaching the football team of "Vitória de Setúbal". Despite being currently far away from his homeland, Mourinho keeps Setubal in his heart and who visits the city easily understands why.

So what Setubal has to offer you?

- In Setubal the urban life happens side by side with the tranquility of the Sado estuary. Today, Setubal is at the heart of the Portuguese sardine industry and is famed for it’s sweet and globally acclaimed moscatel wine. If you feel like tasting a good Portuguese fish dish, here is the right place to be. And if you fancy something sweet afterwards, try the famous "Tortas de Azeitão" or the not less famous "queijadas".

- Setubal's pedestrian streets, fountains and gardens lend it a certain grace, although its still very functioning harbour certainly dominates giving it the feel of a still thriving historic town. Setubal lies at the mouth of the river Sado on the coast just below Lisbon and opposite the beautifully sandy peninsula of Troia. On the inland side of this Peninsular is the semi-submerged ruins of the Roman town of Cetóbriga. If you wish to experiment a truly historical visit, Setubal has much to offer.

- The 16th Century Cathedral "Santa Maria da Graça" has beautiful tiles from the 18th Century. The "Igreja de Jesus" is a remarkable Gothic church with its interior columns carved in Arrábida pink stone from the nearby quarry. The architect Diogo Boitac designed this wonderful example of Manueline style in 1494. "Museu de Setubal" is to be found in the "Mosteiro de Jesus" and it has many religious items and painting. Part of the collection is dedicated to the famous 18th Century Portuguese romantic poet Bocage.

- Setubal is an active city with many outdoor activities taking place. Just look at the river on a weekend day and you'll see the number of fishermen, people canoeing, sailing, or practising windsurf. Several sports like cycling or mountain climbing are also very popular, or you can simply take a walk on one of the several beautiful public gardens.

If you decide to spend your holidays in Troia, you must definitely visit the city of Setubal. It will make you feel "at home".

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