WELCOME TO THE CAPITAL OF THE HORSE
Golegã is a small rural village located right in the heart of Portugal, between the rivers Tagus and Almonda, in the province of Ribatejo. Horses are its ex – libris, as well as bulls and the campino (a kind of Portuguese cowboy).
The history of Golegã, and its origins, are connected to the birth of Portugal itself due to its importance and strategic location closeness to the former Estrada Real (Royal Road).
The name Golegã derives from the fact that in the 12th century, a guest house was opened there by a Galician woman, which caused the village to become known as Venda da Golegã (Village of the Galician). Name that, after a few changes, achieved its present designation of Vila da Golegã.
Its artistic and historical heritage, made up of churches, chapels, museums, manor houses, and the Natural Park of Boquilobo’s marshland -- certified by UNESCO as a biosphere reservation, - ought to be visited.
The region of Golegã has the oldest and most prestigious Lusitano horse breeders in Portugal.
The National Horse Fair is an annual event which takes place in Golegã in the beginning of November. This is the largest horse fair in Portugal and with a unique atmosphere. Golegã transforms into a Meca for all those people who love the Lusitano horse, and attracts more people each year, both from Portugal and abroad.
FEIRA NACIONAL DO CAVALO / EXPOÉGUA
The Equestrian Centre is located in a rural region which is devoted to horse breeding.
The alluvia generated by the River tagus (the biggest river in the Iberian Peninsula) has created optimal conditions and due to this the grasslands are very fertile. This is where the original Lusitano horses used to graze. Several agricultural families and horse breeders are established here. Due to this, horse-breeding is one of the centre pieces of Golegã and its surroundings. This has enabled Golegã to become the land of horses.
The Golegã Fair began in the mid-18th century and was known as the Feira de S.Martinho. In 1972 it became The National Horse Fair which takes place during the first two weeks of November.
As well as the finest horses and the most sought after National and International competitions, our guests can also benefit from the fact that the ancestral characteristics of the Fair, their local customs and traditions remain untouched to the present day and can be seen and experienced today.
The equestrian art, horse-breeding, bull-breeding, the handcraft, the culture, and the rich gastronomy of the region attract people to visit Golegã.
Golegã’s cultural heritage is made up of several monuments throughout the village which includes several tributes to horses and bulls. There are also two beautiful churches (classified as national monuments), one from the 15th century and the other from the 17th century, with 18th century tile panels.
The Photography Museum Carlos Relvas (19th century), located in the whereabouts of the Town Hall and recently restored, houses an extremely rich photography exhibition from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is also considered to be one of the oldest photography studios in the world.
Equuspolis houses the Sculpture and Painting Museum of Master Martins Correia, an Art Gallery and the Museum of Equine History. This should be visited so that the visitor can get an image of what Golegã is all about.
At Quinta da Cardiga the visitor can take a trip to the past, where a 12th century turret can be found (the century of Portugal’s birth), later on, it was turned into a convent of the Order of Christ
When visiting Lusitanus, you can also take a short trip to visit some of the tourist attractions present in the neighbouring surroundings: The Sanctuary of Fátima (30 km away), The Convent of Christ in Tomar (30 km away)The Torres Novas Castle (10 km away), The Almourol Castle (15km) and Santarém (35km)
Just a few kilometres away from Lusitanus you can visit Boquilobo’s marshland, which is a Natural Reserve between the rivers Tagus and Almonda, essentially known for its ornithological value. Its landscape is made up of a thicket of willow trees, coexisting with a permanently wet area, covered with water plants and a wide cane thicket. It is the house of an important colony of herons and, as far as the feeding and resting of anatidae is concerned, it is one of the most important areas in the Iberian Peninsula.
Due to the environmental quality that characterizes Golegã, the municipality of Golegã was considered the most ecological of the country by the magazine (…) in 2002.
WHERE IS GOLEGÃ: