The Church of Saint Genesius of Boelhe, built during the mid-to-late 13th century, is one of the most beautiful examples of Romanesque design in the Tâmega and Sousa areas.
The walls of this Church stand out for the quality of their construction. A set of geometrical and alphabetic initials are visible, representing the mason's signature.
The main portal resembles the portals found in the Churches of Saint Vincent of Sousa, Saviour of Unhão, and Saint Mary of Airães, which are located in Felgueiras.
The portal's capitals, with bevel-carved palmettes, and the circles filled with crosses, resemble the first Christian symbols. In the north façade, the modillions present a significant variety of themes, from bull heads to men carrying stones.
Tradition attributes the foundation of the Church of Boelhe either to the daughter of King Sancho I, Princess Mafalda, or her grandmother, Queen Mafalda, wife of King Afonso Henriques.
The Church as it is today is the result of a profound restoration that took place between 1929 and 1948.
Classification: National Monument - 1927
Route: Tâmega Valley
3th century – Construction of the Church;
17th-18th centuries – Enlargement of the chancel;
1928 – Beginning of the restoration works;
1930-1932 – Reconstruction works: rebuilding of the walls, cornice, cornice ornaments and belfry; removal of all the existing mortar in the Church; disassembling of the bell tower; rebuilding of the primitive chancel; lowering and tiling the Church and chapel’s pavement;
1935 – Reconstruction works: disassembling and transfer of the chancel’s back wall to its original place, rebuilding of the nave’s crevices; tiling of the nave and chancel; placement of steps and landings in the main portico;
1936 – Reconstruction works: placement of three exterior doors, assembling and covering of roofs;
1950 – Restoration works: disassembling the entire South façade, repositioning all the elements in their original places; demolishing the walls that extended the transept and building its front in the place indicated by the foundations; disassembling and rebuilding the belfry; unblocking the nave’s lateral door; compressing the foundation; covering a door that existed in the main chapel’s North façade; restoring the triumph arch, pediment and crevices; building concrete merlons and a new coating; cleaning and repairing joints, placing stained glass windows; replacing the cross from the main façade; laying tiles in the nave and main chapel; placing the stone-made main altar; laying an external pavement around the Church; setting new doors; transferring the cemetery and general repairs to the churchyard;
1971 – Conservation works in the roofing and electric installation;
1986 – Conservation works and roofing recovery;
1998 – The Church of Saint Genesius of Boelhe is included in the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa;
2003 – General conservation and enhancement of the building within the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa project, which included the archaeological follow-up in the probing led in the churchyard;
2015 – Works for the general conservation of the Church, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.
Saint Genesius - 25th August
Monument not accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.
+351 255 810 706
+351 918 116 488
How to get here:
Largo da Igreja, Boelhe, Penafiel, Porto
Northern Portugal: A28/A3/A7/A24/A11 » A4 (Vila Real) » Entre-os-Rios/Penafiel Sul » Entre-os-Rios » Rota do Românico/Igreja de S. Gens de Boelhe.
Porto: A4 (Vila Real) » Entre-os-Rios/Penafiel Sul » Entre-os-Rios » Rota do Românico/Igreja de S. Gens de Boelhe.
Central/Southern Portugal: A1 (Porto)/ A29 (V.N. Gaia) » A41 CREP » A4 (Vila Real) » Entre-os-Rios/Penafiel Sul » Entre-os-Rios » Rota do Românico/Igreja de S. Gens de Boelhe.
Penafiel: Entre-os-Rios » Rota do Românico/Igreja de S. Gens de Boelhe.