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Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa - Penafiel

The foundation of this monastic community dates back to the 10th century and is considered the origin of this Benditine Monastery. The will of abbot Randulfo, in 994, who escaped from a monastery to the south, during the incursions of Almançor, contains the first references to this Monastery.

The foundation of the Monastery credits Trutesendo Galindes and his wife Anímia, who followed the peninsular monastic habits and adopted the Rule of Saint Benedict, during the abbacy of Sisnando, between 1085 and 1087.

In 1088, the will of D. Egas Ermiges and his wife Gontinha Eriz donates property and other assets to the Church of the Saviour, for the redemption of their souls.

This church does not correspond to the current Romanesque temple, but its architecture left marks in the construction that would be erected in the 13th century, featuring different periods.

Count D. Henrique donates the Monastery as head of a "Couto" [place of privileges] associated to the Ribadouro, one of the most important families in the Entre-Douro-e-Minho, of which descends Egas Moniz who, according to tradition, would have founded this Monastery.

The family comes from foreign roots, and the first representative, Mónio Viegas I, was born in the Gascogne, according to the information on the Livros de Linhagem [Books of Lineage].

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    • Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa - Penafiel

      10th century – Original edification (the first documented mention is from 994);

      13th century – Construction of the Romanesque church;

      17th and 18th centuries – Remodeling and transforming the main chapel and the main façade; remodelling the cloister and monastic quarters;

      1883 to 1887 – Restoration works under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Works;

      1910 – Classification of the church as National Monument (Dec. 6-16-1910);

      1920 and 1924 – Beginning of the restoration works under the Ministry of Public Works;

      1927 – Fire partially destroys the monastery;

      1927 to 1938 – Beginning of the restoration works;

      1950-1987 – Several conservation and recovery works.

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    Architecture and Furniture

    • Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa - Penafiel Some portions of the temple are from different time periods. There are friezes and other elements that were reused from an older construction, probably from the second half of the 12th century, and others of clear Pre-Romanesque character which have inspired the artists working in the 13th century workshops.

      The Church of Paço de Sousa features three naves, false transept inscribed in the design, and wood covers lying in diaphragm arches. The transept is composed of three intercommunicable chapels: the laterals, of semicircular section in the Romanesque fashion, and the central one, of rectangular shape, result of an alteration from the Modern Period.

      The new construction, initiated on the West side, evolved around the pre-existing church. Thus, we can point out a first construction stage that corresponds to the first West flight and the axial portal, whose elements, namely capitals and corbels, present an older profile in comparison with the remaining ones: some clearly inspired in Coimbra or the See of Porto, others in various places.

      A second stage is visible in the South portal which is less archaic when compared to the West portal of the first stage. The flight further to the West, from the first stage, is wider and higher, contrasting with the narrower and lower flights from the second stage, certifying a reduction regarding the initial project’s size.

      As for a third stage, notice the apsioles of semicircular shape in the transept, covered by a broken barrel vault: they feature rather evolved elements within the Romanesque, namely in the crevices, similar to those of the main chapel of the Church of the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête (Paredes) from the early 14th century.

      A fourth and final construction stage may be witnessed in this church’s transept cover and in the tower over the cross which, for its indisputably late profile, is already reminiscent of the mendicant Gothic architecture of the time.

      On the South side, the portion of the transept wall included friezes and impost blocks much anterior to the 13th century construction. In the crevices of the apsioles, the frames feature Mozarab traits.

      Some capitals, as the one in the apsiole on the South side with projecting leaves, also feature clear Mozarab remembrances.

      The cloister and what is left of the monastic building correspond to renovations from the 17th and 18th centuries.

      The Monastery has undergone important restoration in the 19th century, between 1883 and 1887, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works.

      Between 1920 and 1924, restoration was carried out under the Ministry of Public Works, having the recovery of the coverage and walls as a priority.

      The 1927 fire started in the monastic dependencies and spread to the body of the Church, destroying the coverage, two altars, liturgical ornaments and objects and a few ornamented masonry. In the same year still, restoration works began, extending until 1938.
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    Regular guided visits

    • By appointment.

Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa
Largo do Mosteiro, Paço de Sousa

Rota do Românico
Praça D. António Meireles, 45
4620-130 Lousada
+351 255 810 706

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Opening Hours:

Celebrations: Saturday: 09pm; Sunday: 07.30am and 11am.

Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa - Penafiel

Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa - Penafiel