Ancient city had been contacted by Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians. The foundation of the city of Santarém reports to Greco-Roman and Christian mythology, recognizing in the names of Habis and Irene, its mythical origins. The earliest documented traces of human occupation date back to the 8th century BC.
The population of the village would have collaborated with the Roman colonizers, when they contributed to the city in 138 a.C. During this period it became the main commercial warehouse of the river Tagus and in one of the most important administrative centers of the province Lusitânia. Of the Romans received the name of Scalabis or Scallabi castro.
It passed to the possession of the Moors in 715, until D. Afonso Henriques conquest definitively in 1147, in a audacious blow, perpetrated during the night with a scanty army reunited by the King of Portugal. It was from that time, headquarters of the Order of the Templars, before passing to Tomar in 1180. It was still cuts of Portugal during several centuries. It is the capital of Gothic because of its richly decorated rosettes.