Romanesque RouteSousa's Valley Route
This month you'll discover…
The Romanesque Route- Travel through “Sousa's Valley”
"Our cradle is Romanesque"
It is common sense to say that the Middle Ages were a time of darkness and obscurantism where humanity has regressed in its evolution. However, in certain elements, it is equally true that the Middle Ages was the scene of major technological, scientific, agricultural and architectural advances. It was a fascinating time, which stories, legends and mythical or real characters still remain in our imagination.
The Romanesque architecture emerged in Europe between the late tenth century and the first two decades of the eleventh century and is characterized, in their most distinctive elements, the use of the round arch, the barrel vaults, the perfection of ashlars and the thickness of the walls.
In Portugal, the emergence of Romanesque architecture coincided with the founding of the Portuguese nationality, with the construction the cathedrals of Coimbra, Lisbon and Oporto and the monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra. Lasted until the fifteenth century which led some authors to assign it, in these cases, as "Resistance Romanesque".
On the banks of rivers Sousa, Tâmega and Douro there is still an important heritage of Romanesque origin. The most paradigmatic are organized in 58 monuments and three routes, belonging to Romanesque Route: Sousa, Tâmega and Douro.
Come with us, in this first stage, in a fantastic journey through history, in its "Sousa's Valley" route and its catchy 19 monuments.
Our thanks for all the support and collaboration, in the preparation of this map, to the entire team of the Romanesque Route!
Church of Saint Vincent of Sousa
Church of the Saviour of Unhão
Bridge of Veiga
Church of Santa Maria de Airães
Church of Saint Mammes of Vila Verde
Monastery of Saint Mary of Pombeiro
Tower of Vilar
Church of the Saviour of Aveleda
Bridge of Vilela
Church of Saint Mary of Meinedo
Bridge of Espindo
Monastery of Saint Peter of Ferreira
Tower of the Alcoforados
Chapel of Our Lady of Piety of Quintã
Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête
Tower of the Castle of Aguiar de Sousa
Chapel of Our Lady of Vale
Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa
Memorial of Ermida
Monastery of Saint Mary of Pombeiro – Felgueiras
The Monastery of Saint Mary of Pombeiro was one of the most important Benedictine monasteries of Entre-Douro-e-Minho and it's surrounded by lush farmland.
Founded by D. Gomes Echiegues (1024-1102) and his wife Gontroda, in 1099, received a Charter from D. Teresa (1080-1130), mother of the first Portuguese king, D. Afonso Henriques, in 1112.
This work of the Romanesque Route was started at the end of the twelfth century and completed, most likely, in the first decades of the thirteenth century.
Of the Romanesque sculpture, it stands out the capitals of vegetal inspiration, imposts, consist of simplified palms and supporting the six archivolts. Can still be seen staves with animals and animal heads from whose mouths come strings.
Between the main portal and rosette are the niches that once harbored Saint Benedict, St. Scholastica and, at the center, Saint Mary of Pombeiro.
Upon entering the church, with three naves, we are flooded by light coming through the windows reflected on the white walls. Three sections lead us to the church altarpiece whose image of Santa Maria is a central figure.
We looked up, to the distant ceiling and to the dome that lets us see the sky and we became impressed by the diversity of artistic styles: Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical. Fortunately, everything has been preserved.
Useful information Address: Lugar do Mosteiro Pombeiro de Ribavizela – Felgueiras GPS: 41° 22′ 58.091″ N / 8° 13′ 32.597″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Church of Saint Vincent of Sousa – Felgueiras
The dedication ceremony of the Church of St. Vincent of Sousa was chaired by the Archbishop of Braga, D. Estêvão Soares da Silva, who held office between 1212 and 1228, at the time, this church belonged to Braga's Cathedral, and not to Oporto like it is today.
Two inscriptions of utmost importance to its history can be found on its walls. One indicates the date of his consecration in 1214. The other, even more old, dates from 1162 and corresponds to a funerary inscription.
The tombs excavated on the north are the other side of living that was appening on the south. The tear in the wall serve to put a porch so that people could discuss matters not related to church. Inside the church it's discussed religious matters, outside the church it's discussed secular subjects.
The Church of Sousa has still many traces of the Portuguese Romanesque for example in the main portal. It consists of four archivolts, in a perfect arc, they are based upon three columns, of decorated plinths, cylindrical columns that alternates with prismatic ones, capitals and imposts adorned with plant motifs carved on bezel that are testimonies of Portuguese Romanesque originality, with the particularity of the exterior captal on the right side that has a face on it.
In the interior, can be observed the expantion that the main chapel suffered. Some of the old walls were painted in fresco. As a curiosity, you can still see a head of a saint who is facing down, proof that the old chapel stones were used to make the new.
In the Chapel's ceiling we found 30 magnificent paintings related to the patron of the church, Saint Vincent. Twenty of them of his holy life while the remaining, made later, refer to his miracles.
Before leaving to admire calmly the stunning altarpiece, Baroque, incredibly worked and with a pelican that gives life to its offspring, the symbol of Christ
Useful information: Address: Lugar da Igreja, Sousa – Felgueiras. GPS: 41° 20′ 37.685″ N / 8° 14′ 56.145″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Church of the Saviour of Unhão – Felgueiras
Unhão was a nerve center in medieval times in Portugal. It was the head of the county and celebrates, in 2015, its 500 years of the charter of the municipality of Unhão.
The first feature that stands out is the main portal almost without symbolism and with frieze very common in the Romanesque of Braga and plant motives of Sousa's Romanesque. Above the portal we can see a crevice that presents small columns and an arch with a perfect arc like we haven't seen in this Romanesque Route. Crosses stand guard at the entrance of the church and at the north wall. These crosses would mark the way towards a nearby chapel or towards a hill.
Has we went round, we see that the bell tower was constructed later and the entire south wall was modified because the corbels have a gap at the top and the colors of the wall rocks are different. We can also see some "S" indicating the mark of the mason, the master "Sisaldis".
Inside, we found that the decor is already neoclassical, the pulpit is baroque and only the north wall (beyond the Western Wall) is Romanesque by the presence of crevices. The cross arch is not Romanesque and the chancel was refurbished by the Route, it was already in a state of very advanced degradation. However, modern notes combine with the classic elements and this is a temple that impresses.
Useful information: Address: Lugar da Igreja, Unhão – Felgueiras GPS: 41° 18′ 43.701″ N / 8° 14′ 11.564″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Bridge of Veiga – Lousada
The Bridge of Veiga connects the river banks between the places of Rio and Cachada, a route that connected Senhora Aparecida and Unhão, an important way in medieval times. The Bridge of Veiga is part of the parish network whose foundation can connect to Pombeiro's Monastery which had rights and properties in this area.
The bridge has just one arc, slightly bended, with narrow and long staves, presenting some construction brands.
The original location is not where the bridge is currently. The bridge had to be changed so that it was erected a modern bridge for nowadays traffic.
Useful information: Address: Rua da Ponte da Veiga, Torno – Lousada GPS: 41° 17′ 57.72″ N / 8° 13′ 3.55″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Church of Saint Mary of Airães -Felgueiras
The Church of Saint Mary of Airães presents a portal inserted in a protruding structure of the main facade so it can be deeper. You can see that the four archivolts have no decoration and the size of the capitals indicates a Gothic influence, visible also in the frames and the head capitals. The Church must be of the thirteenth century or even the beginning of the fourteenth century.
Although the Church is documented since 1091 only the central nave is Romanesque, seen the lateral naves and the chancel were later added already influences from other styles.
Inside, darkness remains. The Romanesque crevices in the western wall and at the Chevet let in only a light tear. All other openings, bigger, are already made from later influences.
The chancel is already proto gothic due to its bended arc. The side walls are covered with yellow tile, dating from the seventeenth century, with blue notes of an exceptional quality.
Useful information: Address: Lugar do Mosteiro, Airães – Felgueiras GPS: 41° 18′ 54.421″ N / 8° 11′ 52.88″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Church of Saint Mammes of Vila Verde – Felgueiras
The Church of Saint Mammes of Vila Verde is located in a place that, in the Middle Ages, should be marked by cattle herding. Maybe that's why the patron saint of the temple is Saint Mammes, a shepherd of Caesarea, Cappadocia, currently Turkey. In the desert he built a chapel where he preached the Gospels to wild animals. With the milk of animals he made cheese that he offered to the poor as he was commanded by an angel. Saint Mammes came to be the protector of cattle, of wet nurses and of the intestines.
This is one more example of what is called "Resistance Romanesque", since this temple was built in the fourteenth century. The documentation already attests to the existence of the parish and a church in the early thirteenth century, however, the current temple corresponds to a later reformation.
It is characterized for being an excellent example of regional and peripheral architecture. It is a small church with smooth corbels and no longer has a Romanesque portal. In the year 2004, it received a strong intervention by the Romanesque Route, because almost there were only the outer walls.
Now it is surrounded by a beautiful area, groomed and pleasant. On the left side left some graves were discovered over time.
There is visible the intervention that was made inside. Modern elements as ceiling lamps or a cross with a stylized "Christ" and topped by a lamp that represents the crown of thorns, combine perfectly with the old features like, for example, a fresco painting commissioned by the abbots of the Monastery of Pombeiro, in the sixteenth century, and performed by the master Arnaus. These paintings are more visible on the back wall where you can see two saints, holding staffs that, we have every reason to believe, should represent St. Benedict and St. Bernard, since one uses black clothes and the other a white robe.
Useful information: Address: Lugar de São Mamede, Vila Verde – Felgueiras GPS: 41° 18′ 17.190″ N / 8° 10′ 55.612″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Tower of Vilar – Lousada
Vilar's Tower was the only monument that we had the opportunity to see integrated in an external group to My Own Portugal's team.
With a height of about 14 meters or five floors, Vilar's Tower is a building situated on top of a hill that dominates a fertile and well watered valley.
These domus fortis, as they were known, were the symbol of noble power over the territory, a fortified residence.
The tower was built in granite blocks which have, sometimes, some marks of the mason. Along the walls tear up crevices and only two rectangular windows.
The tower may have been built between the second half of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the fourteenth century, not knowing for sure who had it built. However, tells the story, that in 1367, the king D. Fernando (r. 1367-1383) donated Vilar do Trono, Unhão and Meinedo to Aires Gomes da Silva, having the building remained in the same family throughout the fifteenth century.
Useful information: Address: Alameda Tower de Vilar, Vilar do Torno e Alentém – Lousada GPS: 41° 17′ 12.082″ N / 8° 12′ 36.906″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Church of the Saviour of Aveleda – Lousada
This simple construction church is a testimony of the "Resistance Romanesque", a testament to the long persistence of the Romanesque forms in Portuguese medieval architecture.
Soon call attention the capitals with vegetal motifs, or the absence of columns on the lateral portals. The main portal already has a slightly broken frieze. The windows are still in the form of narrow opennings, closed to the outside and open inwards to get more light.
Inside there are stunning paintings on the ceiling of the chancel, on the nave and above the triumph arch.
In the coffers of the chancel is possible to "sing" the litany of Our Lady, while jumping between paintings.
The nave's end, represents the Saviour of the World flanked by the evangelists Matthew, Lucas, John and Mark. Near the arch we have an allegorical image of the church with its pillars beside it: St. Peter and St. Paul. In the center, we find a painting of the Holy Trinity.
Useful information: Address: Lugar da Igreja, Aveleda – Lousada GPS: 41° 16′ 46.51″ N / 8° 15′ 10.95″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Bridge of Vilela – Lousada
Vilela's Bridge is difficult to dating, however it must belong to the thirteenth century due to its construction method.
Made in granite, it presents as Romanesque features, the arches. It has four round arches but only two are in the river bed. The floor is also made of granite. Note that this bridge ashlars show no marks of the mason, which was not very common at the time.
Vilela's Bridge ensured crossing of the river Sousa linking Vilela to the villages of Vilar de Nuste and Cartão.
Useful information: Address: Lugar de Vilela, Aveleda – Lousada GPS: 41° 16′ 8.53″ N / 8° 14′ 53.31″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Church of Saint Mary of Meinedo – Lousada
Meinedo and its church are of great importance for the Portuguese religious history. In the sixth century, is recorded this was the seat of a bishopric. Legend says that it was the father-in-law of the Visigoth king Recaredo that went to the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) recover St. Tirso's body and brought him to this village in order to found the monastery in its patronage.
Just north of the Church of Saint Mary of Meinedo there are traces of walls and some capitals that have belonged to a basilica.
In 1113, D. Afonso Henriques (r. 1143-1185) gives to the Oporto's bishop D. Hugo (episc. 1113-1136) the monastery of St. Tirso of Meinedo.
The church has a late Romanesque or "Resistance Romanesque" since it was founded in the late thirteenth century or the beginning of the fourteenth century.
The main portal has not tympanum or columns and opens in a pointed arch. It has archivolts decorated with motifs of pearls. The granite is, also, quite thick so the marks of the mason are practically non-existent.
In the interior, the Romanesque traces disappear. Draws attention to the wall adjacent to the triumph arch covered in gilt, the tile of the main chapel of the late seventeenth century or early eighteenth century or the image of Saint Mary of Meinedo now on the side of the nave. In the back wall there are still frescos of the fifteenth or sixteenth century, but access to these is blocked by the rich altarpiece.
In the chapel ceiling is possible to study the catechism in the images, as well as admire magnificent paintings relating to Saint Mary.
Useful information: Address: Rua da Igreja, 137, Meinedo – Lousada GPS: 41° 14′ 54.789″ N / 8° 15′ 26.908″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Bridge of Espindo – Lousada
Although you can cross it by car we decided to walk our way taking enjoying the sun's warmth.
Espindo's Bridge is located in the place with the same name, in the parish of Meinedo, Lousada.
The date of construction of this bridge is difficult to determine, however its resemblance to a medieval bridge, its single round arch and its construction in granite blocks, make us believe that this is a bridge with Romanesque origins.
The Bridge of Espindo assured the connection between the places of Bustelo (Penafiel) and Boim (Lousada). The bridge is of small size, but it is supported by solid pillars that start directly from the banks. The pillar on the left margin was protected by a wall or "mouchão", upstream.
Useful information: Address: Lugar de Espindo, Meinedo – Lousada
GPS: 41° 14′ 36.53″ N / 8° 16′ 24.75″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Monastery of Saint Peter of Ferreira – Paços de Ferreira
The Church of the Monastery of Saint Peter of Ferreira is one of the most emblematic monuments of the Portuguese Romanesque, with unique characteristics in the buildings of that time in Portugal.
Legend has it that the church was built "overnight". And, in fact, it was built between 1180 and 1195, which for the time, you can say, was an extremely fast construction. Usually, the construction of a church could take several generations.
Right at the main portal, we found the presence of three masters from three different "schools" of the Romanesque, which combine harmoniously:
• The Romanesque of the Sousa Valley: which can be seen in the alternating cylindrical and prismatic columns, typical of this region. We have also worked capitals in bevel, a very shallow work, with forms of baskets;
• The Romanesque of Braga: using capitals with animal figures with a single head and Braga's palm in the form of inverted hearts;
• The Romanesque of Zamora (Spain): which occurs in archivolts in a "honeycomb" shape, only example in Portugal because it exist only in the cathedral of Zamora and Salamanca.
In front of the building, we found another singularity, one narthex or porch. This antechamber was used essentially to bury wealthy nobles, a solution found during the burial ban within the churches. These preliminary churches were quite common at the time and beyond the funerary function were also used as a reflection site, for preparation to enter into the church or for trials. However, few survived to this day, thus making the Church of Saint Peter of Ferreira a rare monument.
The church impresses by its height, uncommon in the Middle Ages buildings, being this achievement done through the use of abutments, supporting the weight of the thick walls.
In the interior, we found a Church quite refined with raw walls with little decoration. The lamps are signed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, giving an interesting contrast between the contemporary and the past and showing that the works of the best architects of today combine perfectly with the work of the best architects of the Middle Ages.
Useful information: Address: Avenida do Mosteiro de Ferreira, Ferreira – Paços de Ferreira.
GPS: 41° 15′ 53.388″ N / 8° 20′ 37.661″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Tower of the Alcoforados – Paredes
The Tower of the Alcoforados, or like is popularly known "Moorish Tower" or "High Tower", won the name of the family that tradition came to connote as its founder. However, it is more likely that the origin of this tower is linked to the Urrô family, which were then diluted into Brandões and, these ones, into Alcoforados.
The dispersion of the owners in several families of Oporto and Entre-Douro-e-Minho can be the cause of early abandonement.
This domus fortis, like the Tower of Vilar (Lousada), was a symbol of noble power over the surrounding land. Wider, but lower than the Tower of Vilar (the Tower of the Alcoforados has 8,60 meters), the tower was probably built after 1258, possibly during the first half of the fourteenth century. Typical Romanesque style can be observed, for example, in the door with a perfect arc.
By the time we visited the tower, in February 2015, the Romanesque Route was carrying out restoration work on a monument that well deserves it. It is scheduled an exhibition space as well as a support center for visitors that will be completed soon.
Useful information: Address: Rua da Torre Alta, Lordelo – Paredes
GPS: 41° 14′ 55.95″ N / 8° 24′ 30.17″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Chapel of Our Lady of Piety of Quintã – Paredes
Off the main road, and cutting to a small street we found, half-hidden, this charming chapel. Despite its lack of architectural relevance it is of fundamental importance in the way that shows how people from the Middle Ages lived as well as of all forms of worship of the time. These chapels are, still, prime locations for festivities and popular festivals, with populations having usually a strong attachment to these places of worship. This may partly explain why the Chapel of Quintã have reach up to today retaining some primitive features.
It is difficult to dating, as it has already been the target of several interventions over the centuries, but the construction system of the chancel allows us to deduce its origin to the so called "Resistance Romanesque", between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In the modern era, possibly to accommodate the increase in population it was added the nave, keeping, however, coherence with the previous architectural style.
The interior is distinguished by sobriety thus adding a peculiar charm to the Chapel of Quintã, which although small and uncomplicated, he is, without doubt, worth to visit.
Useful information: Address: Rua da Nossa Senhora da Piedade, Baltar – Paredes
GPS: 41° 11′ 22.72″ N / 8° 22′ 43.72″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête – Paredes
The Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête was built on fertile land as usual. Though a Benedictine monastery of origin was subsequently delivered to the order of Crosier, however, both orders lived together until the early seventeenth century.
Already there exist another temple in the tenth century, however, the abbot D. Estêvão Anes held an architectural and structural restructuring using the existing Romanesque base to build a Gothic church. we can see in the side wall the color difference between the two buildings.
The chancel is totally Gothic already using abutments. The church is a beautiful testimony to the acceptance of Romanesque patterns and how they have linked to religious conceptions. If the north gate must be considered as Gothic, the main portal still incorporates aspects of Romanesque.
We entered through the north portal into a very high and dark nave. In the interior, on the south side, and within a arcosolium we find the trace of a mural of St. Sebastian, a saint much venerated during medieval times.
The chancel would have only one crevice, but with the intervention in the twentieth century it was opened up two more to let in more light. Here is located the tomb of D. Estêvão Anes, abbot responsible for the works in the late thirteenth century, with its carved stone tomb. The headboard features its own elevation of Romanesque architecture with its blind-arcades.
Before heading into the bell tower, we diverted to the cloister. The sun was very welcoming. In the center, a very simple garden is home to six tombs that are not originally from that location.
In the chapel situated on the ground level of the bell tower, we found the tomb of D. Gonçalo Oveques (1067-1113) to whom tradition attributes the foundation of the first monastery chapel. It retains good testimonies of Hispano-Moorish tiles from the area of Seville, Spain, as well as an imposing crest.
Useful information: Address: Largo do Mosteiro, Cête – Paredes
GPS: 41° 11′ 22.72″ N / 8° 22′ 43.72″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Tower of the Castle of Aguiar de Sousa – Paredes
The Tower of the Castle of Aguiar de Sousa is of difficult access, much more easily reached on foot, by a steep climb and, depending on the time of year, slippery, through some houses made of stone.
The tower itself is only seen when you reach the top. This is what remains of an ancient fortified structure belonging to a defensive network to stop the advance of Arabic troops. The castle was, even, attacked by Almanzor (938-1002) in 995, during the wars against recent kingdom of Portugal.
The landscape is breathtaking, overlooking the valley and the river Sousa, that snakes around slowly. We have to imagine a very different vegetation that currently exists. The dense patch of eucalyptus would not be there. We use the monument to rest and gain energy. The trip is approaching the end, as much as we do not want to.
Useful information: Address: Travessa do Castelo, Aguiar de Sousa – Paredes
GPS: 41° 7′ 26.054″ N / 8° 26′ 18.768″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Chapel of Our Lady of Vale – Paredes
The Chapel of Our Lady of Vale was probably built between the late fifteenth century or early sixteenth century, being closely linked to the Monastery of Cête. The building is much more gothic, with some traces of the Manueline style. But, despite the late construction, the temple will drink some influences the Romanesque as can be seen in the main portal arrangement. We are intrigue by the presence of a pulpit under the porch that is quickly explained by the need to celebrate mass outside in time of pilgrimage, something that often occured.
Inside, traces of frescos by master Arnaus that shine in the light coming from the windows. Two musicians angels flank the place where it should be painted the patron of this temple, Our Lady of Vale. The dome of the chapel is made of wood, however it should have been originally stone due to the abutments outside.
The miracle virtues of Our Lady of the Vale are well known of the population. One of them has occurred in 1747, when a Portuguese immigrant in Brazil was saved from a siege by indigenous people thanks to the intervention of Our Lady of Vale. Other, says that, in 1796, a storm came over the ship where was traveling, for Brazil, Custódio Coelho Ferraz Moreira, born in Cête, that ends up being saved by the Virgin of vale that, after request for patronage, did reach to the shipwrecked a mast fragment, in which he sailed over three hours until he was found.
Useful information: Address: Largo Vitorino Leão Ramos, Cête – Paredes
GPS: 41° 10′ 33.067″ N / 8° 20′ 58.035″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa – Penafiel
Talking about the Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa is talking about the founding of the nation and especially of Egas Moniz (1080-1146), steward of D. Afonso Henriques and the man who raised the first king of Portugal.
It was after the death of Egas Moniz, during the thirteenth century, that the family Ribadouro, very powerful during the first dynasty, ordered the construction of the Benedictine monastery on top of an old church adorned with the European Romanesque style. Unlike other constructions of the time, the Monastery of Paço de Sousa began to be built from the Western Wall as it was "eating up" the early church.
Then, the tomb of Egas Moniz was placed in the chapel of Corporal, a family pantheon that existed in the north side (where the cemetery is now) with communication to the transept. After extensive renovations, the tomb was changed location several times until it get to where it is currently, on the right as you enter the main portal.
The magnificent portal, decorated with vegetal elements, has original characters such as a man stroking his beard, a bull (that could symbolize the work force) and an tympanum with two men, one holding a sun, the other, a moon that may reffer to the biblical reference "I am the Alpha and the Omega; the Sun and the Moon; the Day and Night ".
It's funny to see all the transformations that the monastery suffered from successive requalifications. The bell tower was not where it is, but by the temple itself; there was a house on the right side which is now at the back; they took the pillory to the other side of the river; and elements that adorned the portal are now scattered throughout the cloister
The monastery was originally a Benedictine but it was given, later, to the Jesuits of Évora. The transition was not the smoothest since the two orders entered constantly in conflict getting to the point when the Benedictines cut the river water flow which provided the fields where the Jesuits lived.
In the interior, three huge naves, in a dark environment, hold the high quality tomb of Egas Moniz. The head consists of three chapels that communicate with each other: the lateral ones, with a semicircular section (apsioles), in the Romanesque way, and the central, rectangular, already of the modern era.
Useful information: Address: Largo do Mosteiro, Paço de Sousa – Penafiel
GPS: 41° 9′ 57.398″ N / 8° 20′ 41.085″ W Visits Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rotadoromanico.com
Memorial of Ermida – Penafiel
The last monument, on this first part of the Romanesque Route which took us down the banks of river Sousa, is the Memorial of Ermida.
There are only six memorials in Portugal and this (and the one in Sobrado (Castelo de Paiva), Alpendorada (Marco de Canaveses) and St. Anthony (Arouca)) is related to the passage of the funeral procession of D. Mafalda (1195-1256), who died in Rio Tinto while returning from Porto.
The Romanesque Route created a beautiful space with orange trees to dignify the memorial and allow access.
The memorial features a bended arc and the same decoration that can be found in Paço de Sousa's Monastery (Penafiel) and two ornamental faces that support the top of a tomb. Some say that the body of D. Mafalda rested here, but that is not true.
D. Mafalda was the daughter of King D. Sancho I (r. 1185-1256) and an important figure for the national Romanesque because she sponsored the construction of various monuments.
Useful information: Address: Lugar da Ermida, Irivo – Penafiel GPS: 41° 10′ 10.360″ N / 8° 19′ 48.594″ W Visits Booking: email@example.com Website: www.rotadoromanico.com