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Entroncamento



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The town of Entroncamento has a curious story, for it was born in the middle of the 19th century, at the dawn of the railway construction in Portugal, due to the creation of the Northern Line and its bifurcation with the Eastern Line; the small village which grew around a simple train station was thus named entroncamento (junction).

It was necessary to bring to the site the railway workers, and they began to establish themselves with their families at two existing hamlets; eventually, as many more workmen arrived, both foreign and from the neighbouring regions of Beira Baixa and Alentejo, typical «railroaders quarters» began to appear, characterized by small houses with lace curtains on the windows and decorated with flower beds or panels of tiles on the façades, which may still be seen.

The town of Entroncamento is thus a sort of open-air railway museum, with old engines and carriages decorating squares and public gardens and the fine building of the former Railway School, designed by Cottinelli Telmo (1897-1948).

Due to its peculiar origins, the county's gastronomy combines different recipes and flavours brought by its inhabitants from other regions, such as baked cod, roast duck with rice or meat pies, typical of the Beira Baixa, grilled fish, kidney beans with pork and sausages, rice pudding and sponge cake, from Estremadura and Beira Litoral, or traditional bread dishes and herbs from the Alentejo.

In terms of arts and crafts, Entroncamento boasts of a surprising reputation in hand-made music instruments, such as guitars, violins and harps.

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