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Originally a fishing village, on the south bank of the Tagus, near Lisbon and Setúbal, Moita started to be frequented by the nobility as a place of leisure, and in the 16th century as a refuge, on account of the plague which was sweeping Lisbon.

The crossings of the Tagus were made in typical boats, such as the faluas (Tagus barges) and varinos (long narrow boats), which are now used for tourist excursions.

Moita is also a land of festa brava (festival of daring) traditions. The bullfights and running of the bulls are spectacles much appreciated by the inhabitants, and are essential in the festivals most typical of the area, such as those of Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem (Our Lady of the Safe Journey) and the Festival of the Senhora do Rosário (Lady of the Rosary).