Barreiro is situated in the Setúbal Peninsula, on the margins of the magnificent river Tagus estuary, right in front of Lisboa.
The origins of Barreiro date back to the Christian re-conquest of the region, when the knights of the Order of Saint James of Compostela helped repopulate the area, mainly with fishermen and Salt workers. Barreiro suffered big developments from the 18th to the 19th century, with the settlement of the Railway of all the south zone right up to Setúbal and Vendas Novas. This settlement developed commerce, residential building and, mainly, several industries, transforming Barreiro in one of the main Industrial Centres in the Country. A visit to the interesting Historical Centre allows one to observe this heritage, with mediaeval vestiges, but with a sudden industrial development, with housing difficulties for all the unpredicted workforce. The religious presence is also notable in the 15th century Santa Cruz Church, in the 16th century Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church or in the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Chapel.
Quite typical of Barreiro are its Windmills and Watermills throughout the region, some of them very ancient, mainly in the Alburrica Fluvial Beach.
Barreiro is nowadays an open museum of the early industrialization of the country, with many interesting structures, like the CUF’s Workmen Quarter, built in between 1908 and 1932, the perfect example of a lifestyle that is almost extinct and that moulded all the industrial 20th century.
Barreiro’s region is also doted with peasant green spaces and lovely leisure activities, like the Mata Nacional da Machada, the central Catarina Eufémia Park, the Riverside Walk Augusto Cabrita, or the nice Parque da Cidade.