Tuesday, 18 December 2012 00:00
New equipment is scheduled to allow a visit to Porto’s World Heritage monument, whose doors are usually closed. The Monastery of Serra do Pilar, in Gaia, usually has the doors closed to the many tourists who climb to the viewpoint with one of the most stunning views over the final stretch of the Douro.
Now, thanks to the agreement signed with the Army, it will be still possible to climb the dome of the monastery to enjoy a unique view over Porto.
The new lift will also allow viewing in three languages (English, French and Spanish), a film produced especially for this purpose, illustrating the rich heritage of the region. Other monitors will be able to view images and information on buildings, a sort of invitation to your visit by tourists, who may have access to books and leaflets, which will be available in the shop attached.
Shelter for Benedictines and liberal troops: Founded by Augustinian friars in the 16th century, the monastery of Serra do Pilar began construction in 1538 and was only completed nearly 130 years later, in 1670, presenting one of only two round cloisters on the Iberian Peninsula (the other is the Palace of Carlos V, the Alhambra in Granada). In the 19th century, during the civil war that pitted liberals and absolutists, the church gave shelter to troops who came to win the conflict. In the end, as the result of constant attacks, the monastery was in a ruinous state of abandonment. Having just begun this rehabilitation during the third decade of the 20th century, there was also an artillery regiment installed. Inside the church, there are highlights of the existence of carved images from the 18th century.