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Setúbal, as a renowned land of fish, has several markets. However, due to its wide acclaim and the historical value of the building, especially its “azulejos” (traditional tiles), the Livramento Market stands out from the rest.
Its fish stalls are famous across the country, with a wide choice of fresh fish every day. This market supplies many of the best fish restaurants in the region and beyond.
Despite already being famous, the Livramento Market reached new heights when several food critics (including one from USA Today) ranked it at the same level as markets such as those in Tokyo and Brooklyn. The market was also visited by Japanese and Brazilian TV channels (Globo and Record).
Both customers and tourists visit the centenary building. Mentioned in guides, it is a stop-off point for many tourist groups, who come to admire not only the diversity of fish and horticultural products, but also aromatic herbs and regional produce – from wine to honey, many kinds of bread and even some traditional artisan crafts.
With almost 300 operators, the visitors also come to see the recently restored panel of 20th-century azulejos, with over five thousand individual tiles.
The whole market underwent restructuring and restoration works (completed in 2013), which didn’t alter any aspect of the original design.
Inaugurated in 1876, the first building of the Livramento Market was replaced with another construction in 1930, with the layout that is known today and at the current location.
However, the Livramento Market is not the only part of the city worthy of a longer visit. There are multiple buildings, venues and sculptural pieces to be admired on a walk around the city.
A blue and white wall of neo-Baroque azulejos which portray agricultural and commercial activities, as well as a depiction of Setúbal in the early 20th century, composed of approximately 5700 tiles covering a total area of 117 m2
Wearing the military costume adopted after the reorganisation of the army in the second half of the 17th century, two figures painted onto the tiles welcome those who come to drink at this fountain, located in Oleiros (between Vila Nogueira de Azeitão and Aldeia de Irmãos).
Casa das Quatro Cabeças (House of the Four Heads)
Located in the heart of the old town’s fishing district, in the Troino quarter. This unique house has a Latin inscription on the door lintel, beneath the bust of a monarch, and there are three other busts on the corner of the house, all sculpted in low relief.
Vila Fresca Fountain
With a wide rectangular base, this fountain is covered with marble slabs and stonework, some of which are headstones with tombstone inscriptions from the Church of St. Simon.
This ancient fountain was renovated in the 16th century by order of King Sebastian and was funded by the population.
The fountain we see today was designed in the late 18th century.
Door of St. Sebastian
Only the arch remains from this ancient Arrábida limestone door. It is one of the entrances of the medieval wall, opened during the reign of King John III (16th century) to improve access to Palhais and Fontainhas, on the outskirts of the city.
Built in 1697 at Bocage Square, this impressive fountain was moved during the 20th century to its current location – Teófilo Braga Square.
It consists of a semicircular basin, in which there are three armillary spheres, amongst various other decorative elements.
On the back there are two interesting 17th-century galleons carved in relief.
The Bastion of Conception
The Bastion of Conception was built in 1692, during the reign of King Pedro II, and was part of Setúbal’s ancient defensive wall.
Porta do Sol (Sun Gate)
It retains its Gothic profile, reminiscent of the medieval wall.
It is also known as the Enchanted “Moura” Gate.
“Whoever drinks from this water will forever be connected to Azeitão”, this legend is linked to the Baroque fountain built in Vila Nogueira de Azeitão during the 18th century.
The fountain’s name comes from the Portuguese verb “pasmar” (to amaze), due to the grandeur of the construction that “amazes” everyone who looks at it.
Built during the reign of King John II, it is one of the city’s most outstanding works of civil architecture.
Until the late 18th century, it housed important institutions such as the Convent of St. Dominic and the Jesuit College; the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier and cloisters have survived to this day, as well as a large section of the medieval wall. The original 18th-century façade was renovated in the 19th century.