The municipality of Setúbal, which includes the region of Azeitão, lies just 50 kilometres away from Lisbon and borders Alentejo, establishing an important link with southern Portugal.
Served by excellent access routes, the municipality of Setúbal offers multiple road, railway and maritime-fluvial transportation solutions. Some of the country’s main motorways guarantee fast and easy access to the rest of the country and the Iberian Peninsula. As does the Lisbon International Airport, which is just 40 minutes away.
The region of Setúbal benefits from mild temperatures throughout the entire year. The climate varies between temperate maritime and Mediterranean
Maximum monthly average (August) 29°C
Minimum monthly average (January) 5°C
Maximum monthly average (December) 89%
Minimum monthly average (January) 55%
Maximum monthly average (January) 120 mm
Minimum monthly average (August) 4 mm
Records of human occupation within the area of the municipality date back to prehistoric times, with remnants from as far back as the Neolithic period being found in several places.
During the Roman period, between the 1st and 4th centuries, Cetóbriga was established. It was an important urban and industrial centre, mainly for fish salting, which extended along both banks of the river Sado, including Troia.
During the barbarian invasions and Arab occupation, the inhabited area was gradually abandoned due to advancing sands.
Watchtowers such as Palmela, sheltered ports like Alcácer do Sal, and fertile valleys, like Azeitão, were the places chosen for Muslim invaders to settle.
After the conquest of Palmela from the Moors and the establishment of the Order of Saint James of the Sword, Setúbal was repopulated, firstly on the hill of Santa Maria and then, gradually in the lower area that extends to what is now the Troino neighbourhood.
In 1249, it received its first charter letter from Paio Peres Correia, Master of the military Order of Saint James.
With its relatively small territory, Setúbal had to stand its ground, fighting against the neighbouring municipalities of Palmela, Santiago do Cacém and Alcácer do Sal, which had already been established.
In response to the struggles experienced by the inhabitants concerning the entry and sale of products brought from Sesimbra, Palmela and Alcácer, in 1343, Garcia Peres, the Master of Saint James, enforced a letter issued by King Afonso IV, which delimited the boundaries of Setúbal through the construction of curtain walls.
Throughout the 15th century, the town developed economic activities, mainly linked to industry and commerce, generating money from the duties charged for entry into the port.
The first Franciscan convents, one of them being the Convent of Jesus, were built in Setúbal during this century.
The Age of Discovery brought great development. In 1458, King Afonso V, set off from the port of Setúbal to conquer Alcácer Ceguer.
In 1487, an aqueduct that supplied the village with water was built. Its construction began under King John II and ended during the reign of King Manuel. This monarch reformed the charter in 1514, due to the progress and demographic expansion that Setúbal had seen over the past century.
In 1525, Setúbal earned the title of “notable village”, from King John III. This title led the Archbishop of Lisbon to order two new parishes to be created in 1553. The churches of St. Sebastian and Our Lady of Annunciation joined the already existing churches of St. Julian and Our Lady of Grace.
Around two kilometres away from the centre of Setúbal, the construction of the fortress of St. Philip began in 1582, by order of King Philip II.
At the start of the 18th century, the citizens of Setúbal asked for St. Francis Xavier to be named patron saint of the town.
The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake destroyed and damaged many buildings, but the parishes located in the lower area of Setúbal were hit the hardest.
Throughout the 19th century, economic and social development transformed the town into one of the most important commercial and industrial hubs in the country.
In 1860, a Royal charter officially recognised Setúbal as a city, two years after the municipality had requested it from King Pedro V. The railroad between Barreiro and Setúbal was inaugurated around the same time and gas lighting arrived in 1863. Landfill works began on the river Sado, leading to the creation of Luísa Todi Avenue.