The Passeio Pombalino runs through the historic centre of the VRSA and reveals the geometric layout of the 18th century, the idea of the Marquis of Pombal. A symbol of Pombaline urbanism, the city is characterised by simplicity and regularity, having been built from scratch after the 1755 earthquake.
The Marquês de Pombal Square is the heart of the city, a royal square in the centre of which the Obelisk, symbol of royal power, was erected in 1776. The square is framed by the buildings of the City Hall, the Guard Corps, the Parish Church and the other twostorey buildings, with four small tower-like buildings, one in each corner.
Walking towards the river, you will reach Baixa-Mar, a waterfront to the Guadiana. Meanwhile, in Avenida da República, stands the Casa dos Folques, formerly owned by the Ramirez family, pioneers of the canning industry.
Crossing the avenue toward the archway of the old Customs House, you’ll walk along the promenade towards the mouth of the river. On the other side of the river is Spain, and the façades along the avenue are the visible face of the city, the most ostensible urban space, with their two stories and French windows.
The Hotel Guadiana, classified as a property of public interest, was designed by the Swiss architect Ernesto Korrodi at the beginning of the 20th century. The building, whose eclectic style breaks with Pombaline lines, is today considered an expression of modernity in the context of the VRSA’s historical urban evolution.
The twelve units which used to be part of the Fishing Societies align symmetrically along the avenue. They accumulated industrial and residential functions, with a two-storey pavilion facing the river and a U-shaped shed at the back, where fish was processed.
Casa Parodi, the former house and factory of a family of canning pioneers, now hosts the Regional Conservatory. Looking south, as you cross through the grid of streets, you can see the city’s Lighthouse.
Municipality: Vila Real de Santo António
Location: Vila Real de Santo António
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 2 km
Average duration: 1h
Cumulative elevation gain: 25 metres D+
Type of path: paved streets
Start of the trail: 37º 11' 40.36'' N 7º 24' 56.91'' W