Saint Mary of Pombeiro was one of the most important Benedictine monasteries in the area between the Douro and Minho rivers and was founded by D. Gomes Echiegues and his wife Gontroda in 1102 by signing a donation charter in favour of the monastery.
In 1099 the Monastery was first mentioned in the old documents, recording the existence of a coenobium. An embedded panel by the Epistle is engraved with the date 1199. It refers to the founder and has a funerary character. This epitaph indicates the commissioning of the Romanesque factory of Pombeiro. The Abbot Rodrigo (1252 – 1276) marked the architectonic peek of the Monastery’s medieval structure. Between 1500 and 1530 the interior of the church was painted. It is not mentioned when the two towers were built, but it has to be afterwards the painting epoche.
Between 1770 and 1773 the main chapel and the altarpiece ensemble corresponding to the main altar were rebuilt.
In 1910 Saint Mary of Pombeiro was classified as a national monument.
After two big Restauration periods (focus on the church 1958-1987 and focus on the structure 1993-2006) the church can be visited today at the Monastery.
ARCHITECTURE AND FURNITURE
The Church, built between the 12th and 13th centuries, features three naves, divided by diaphragm-arches with painted wooden ceilings on the lateral naves. The original plant of the chancel, rebuilt in the 18th century, was semi-circular, typical of the Romanesque style, as were the still existing apses [secondary chapels]. The main portal capitals are a remarkable example of Romanesque sculpture. The two tombs with sculpture were part of the funerary centre sheltered in the now-vanished galilee, which was linked to the nobility of this territory, including families such as the Sousas or Sousões and the Ribavizelas. In the apses, there are two themes of mural painting: one probably representing Saint Blaise and another representing Saint Amarus and Saint Placidus. The image of the Patron featured in the main retable (the main altar) is possibly a Gothic-style work from between the 14th and 15th centuries. Much was altered between the 16th to 20th centuries: the Church received a set of rococo-style gilded wood, which was worked by the renowned friar José de Santo António Ferreira Vilaça.
Wednesday to Sunday:
10am – 6pm
Sunday, public holidays and Festivity Days – 8 am and 10.45 am
ENTRANCE FEES & GUIDED TOURS
2,00 € per adult
50% discount for:
Visitors aged 65 or over, Students, Youth Card, Large Families, Family Ticket. Admission is provided by the services of the Direção Regional de Cultura do Norte [North Regional Directorate for Culture], the entity that oversees the Monastery of Pombeiro.