The church is a recent building (from 1953) but is has a strange story: the old one, from the 16Th century, was burnt in 1918 to... celebrate the end of WW1.
What a celebration...
In a palace from the 16Th century, the local museum, centrally located, shows archaeological artifacts, sculpture and medals, and and has separated rooms to display the works of a couple of individual artists.
Five kilometers from Bombarral, in a big farm called Quinta dos Loridos, a rich man decided to build a park with hundreds of oriental statues. In this carefully planned and maintained "Buddha Eden" it's possible to see a mix of expensive copies of oriental art, from the Xi'an terracotta warriors to several Buddha statues in all the positions.
OK, it is kitsch, it is not Portuguese, but it is Portugal, it shows the taste of, at least, one rich Portuguese, and... it's free to visit.
If you decide to visit the "Quinta dos Loridos" you have two options - the free visit, walking around the garden and taking all the time that you want, or to do it quicker and effortless. There's a small touristy train that for 3€, takes you around, with two stops in the most attractive points. With a pain in one foot, that was my great solution.
Belonging to one of the most reputed wine producers in Portugal - Quinta da Bacalhoa - the "Quinta dos Loridos" also produces wine, and in the shop at the exit you may find all kinds of their products, local and from all over the country.
As an English person with a Portuguese partner who was born in this village I was curious about the way the average Portuguese working class person lived,so in Aug 2003 we went
on a visit to meet her family in Bombarral.
Well,how do I start?
Take England 75 years ago and subtract another 50 years and you'll get an idea of how
people in this small town live,in short it's absolutely MAGIC!!
There are several cafes where you can sample typical Portuguese snacks like:-
Pasteis Bacalhau (Portuguese Fish Cakes)
Rissois Camarao (Prawn Rissoles)
Pastel Nata (Portuguese Custars Tart) usually eaten with a bica (Portuguese Espresso) & delicious!!!
I recommend you try all of the above,I did & totally enjoyed every mouthfull!!!!!!
But to get back to the town, it's basically a typical Portuguese small town situated
ostensibly within a farming/semi industrial community.
If you want to experience the "Normal" Portuguese way of life,you could do a lot worse
than going to Bombarral.
People in this town are (like all Portuguese) are very friendly (but be warned!) English speaking is non-existent,but with a little patience you can make yourself understood.
Well I suppose I'm a little biased,but I have been back about seven or eight times
& love the relaxed atmosphere of the place (plus my Mother in Law grills the best
fish in the town!)
GIVE IT A GO!
Fondest memory: If you go to Bombarral,try to go in the first two weeks of August &
experience the Festa weekend.
It's music,side stalls,competitions & all that stuff!!
Corny if you like,but we are on holiday!!