Núcleo Museológico do Tempo - Torre das Cabaças

Núcleo Museológico do Tempo - Torre das Cabaças

Museums and Palaces

In the Largo Zeferino Sarmento, close to the church of São João de Alporão, is the Torre das Cabaças. Quadrangular in shape and 22 metres high, it is an imposing late Gothic testimony to the city's defensive system during the 15th century. During the 17th century, a Mannerist cyma was placed at the top in an attempt at aesthetic improvement. Although the walls and the building of the Council Senate, to which the tower originally belonged, have both now disappeared, it still performs its function as a clock tower even today.

The name of Torre das Cabaças (Calabash Tower) derives from the existence at the top of the tower of an iron structure supporting eight calabashes (since replaced by ceramic pots) serving to reinforce the sound of the bell, which was intended to be heard in the villages nearest to Santarém. For a long time, popular opinion has considered them to represent the empty heads of the councillors who were responsible for ordering the building of such a crude, clumsy-looking tower.

In 1999, the Municipal Council drew up a plan for the restoration of the tower and the rehabilitation of the surrounding area. Now with a completely new look (the plasterwork has been replaced and the clockwork system has been restored), the tower houses an interesting Time Museum with an exhibition of objects related to this theme.

Rua Zeferino Sarmento
2000-121 Santarém
+351 243 304 468

9am - 12.30pm / 2pm - 5.30pm (Wednesday to Sunday) Closed: Monday, Tuesday and Holidays.

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