Church of Saint Martin of Soalhães - Rota do Românico

Soalhães was a territory particularly coveted by medieval nobility.

The importance of this land required its masters would take the toponym for their surname, as in the case of D. João Martins, called “of Soalhães”, bishop of Lisbon and archbishop of Braga.

However, there are few traces of the Romanesque left in plain sight, due to the deep intervention the Church underwent in the 18th century.

Its main portal, dating back to the 14th century, features a proto-Gothic organization, confirmed by the absence of the tympanum and the naturalistic nature of its capitals.

Although the oculus of the portal received an arrangement during the 18th century intervention, the truth is that this did not happen inside the building, where we can still appreciate a frame punctuated by pearls, a motif fairly widespread throughout the Romanesque architecture of the basins of the Douro and Tâmega.

Inside, a tomb from the 13th or 14th century, sheltered by arcosolium in the chancel, on the right, coexists with a profusion of colours and materials that bear witness to a somehow eccentric investment in tile panels, made of wood in polychrome medium relief, and in the gilded ornamentation which goes beyond the altars themselves.

Type: Church

Classification: National Monument - 1977

Route: Tâmega Valley

875 - Reference to the basilica of Saint Martin;

1120 - Reference to the Monastery of Soalhães;

13th (end) or 14th centuries (beginning) - Probable date of the rebuilding of the Church of Soalhães, according to the remaining Romanesque traces;

1304 - Establishment of the majorat of Soalhães;

1320 - Soalhães, together with Mesquinhata and Santa Cruz, pay a tax of 400 Portuguese libras;

1514, July 15th - Date of the "foral" [charter] of Soalhães;

1733 - Date that marks the renovations in the Church's structure and integrated heritage (indicated in the high-choir);

1740-50 - Probable chronology of the tiling campaign carried out in the nave of the Church of Soalhães;

1977 - Classification of the Church of Soalhães as a National Monument (decree no. 129). This classification only included its Romanesque elements;

1980, March 26th - Order for the extension of the classification scope of the Church of Soalhães considered on the decree no. 129 from 1977;

1997, December 31st - Decree establishing a new wording for the official designation of the Church;

2010 - Integration of the Church of Saint Martin of Soalhães in the Route of the Romanesque;

2017-2018 - Restoration of the tiles, woodcarvings and sculptures of the nave and roof maintenance, within the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.

Saint Martin - 11th November

By appointment

Saturday - 5.30 pm; Sunday - 8.30 am

Monument fully or partly accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.

+351 255 810 706

+351 918 116 488

How to get here:

41.160537, -8.096775

Avenida da Igreja, Soalhães, Marco de Canaveses, Porto

Northern Portugal: A28/A3/A24/A7/A11 » A4 (Vila Real) » Marco de Canaveses » Baião » Rota Românico/Igreja de Soalhães.

Porto: A4 (Vila Real) » Marco de Canaveses » Baião » Rota Românico/Igreja de Soalhães.

Central/Southern Portugal: A1 (Porto)/ A29 (V.N. Gaia) » A41 CREP » A4 (Vila Real) » Marco de Canaveses » Baião » Rota Românico/Igreja de Soalhães.

Marco de Canaveses: N211 Baião » Rota Românico/Igreja de Soalhães.

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