Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hans Christian Andersen's visit to Setúbal

Hans Christian Andersen visited Setúbal in 1834 and described it as a "terrestrial paradise".

A keen traveller, he was already 61 years old when he came to Portugal to visit his two childhood friends, who had the beautiful house "Quinta dos Bonecos" near Palmela in the region of Setúbal.

He used to write travelogues and his visit to Setúbal inspired him to write the book "A Visit to Portugal" as wonderful as his fairy tales, which to this day continue to delight children and adults all over the world.

Some extracts:

The region at the foot of the Serra da Palmela is more picturesque. Soon ahead is Setúbal, the St Ubes of the English, where endless orange groves cover the whole valley between Palmela, São Luís and the Serra da Arrábida out towards the sea.”

"“(…) The carriage in Setúbal was waiting for us, and so too were the newspapers, which we started reading with great interest in order to find out what was happening in the world. (…) While blood was being shed and death rattles were being heard in other countries, peace reigned over Portugal, a country far from those dangers. And I felt and enjoyed that tranquility, that beauty and peace.”

"Lights shone in the white houses of Setúbal. (…) All this beauty could never be reproduced in a painting or described in words.”

“ (..) after breakfast it was time to say goodbye. Jorge O’Neill joked and smiled but I felt sad. I wondered if we would ever meet again and I was sure that I would never visit this faraway and beautiful country again, where I had felt so well and at home.”

“When, God willing, I am once again walking

Among the beech trees in my homeland,

My thoughts will often return

To the beautiful country that is Portugal.”

Visit our website to know more about Setúbal:

Portugal Dream Coast

1 comment:

  1. Hans Christian Andersen visited Setúbal in 1866, not 1834! and "Quinta dos Bonecos" is in Setúbal, Estrada das Machadas. Please check this links: