The Church of Meinedo, dating from the 13th-14th centuries, features architectonic and decorative characteristics that stand out for their simplicity, regardless of their great historic and artistic value.
The campaign of archaeological excavations held between 1991 and 1993 allowed the identification of part of the chapel as a building which may date back to the Suevi period [5th-6th centuries].
In 1113, the bishop of Porto, D. Hugo, gained the "Couto" [place with privileges] of the Monastery of Saint Thyrsus of Meinedo from King Afonso Henriques, monarch at the time.
According to legend, during the Visigoth occupation of the 6th century, this Monastery housed the body of Saint Thyrsus, who came from the city of Constantinople. Meinedo would have been the seat of a bishopric in this period.
The Church presents a single nave with a rectangular apse, both with wooden roofing.
The main portal has archivolts decorated with pearl motifs.
Inside the Church, the abundant and original ornamentation of the crossing arch and the chancel stands out, combining the Mannerist and Baroque styles. Regarding the latter, the emphasis lies in the tiles and the ceiling which depict themes of Marian life.
The sculpture of Our Lady of Meinedo, or Our Lady of the Snows, is a Gothic work constructed in polychromatic limestone.
Classification: Public Interest Building - 1945
Route: Sousa Valley
6th century (mid) - Construction of the basilica, head of the Bishopric of Meinedo;
1113 - Reference to the existence of the Monastery of Saint Thyrsus of Meinedo;
13th and 14th centuries - Building of the Church;
17th and 18th centuries - Tiling of the main chapel with blue and white glazed tiles, erection of the modern bell tower and placing of the retables and main retable in gold gilding;
1991 - Restoring the Chapel of Saint Thyrsus by the Comissão da Fábrica da Igreja [Church’s Factory Committee];
20th century (90s) - Beginning of the recovery and restoration works in the Church of Meinedo, carried out by IPPAR - Instituto Português do Património Arquitetónico [Portuguese Institute of the Architectonic Patrimony];
1998 - The Church of Saint Mary of Meinedo is included in the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa;
2007 - Works for the general conservation of the Church and surrounding area, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa;
2015 - Works for the general conservation of the Church, mostly at the levels of the roofs and external walls, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.
Our Lady of the Snows - 5th August
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday - 7 pm; Sunday - 11.15 am
Monument fully or partly accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.
+351 255 810 706
+351 918 116 488
How to get here:
Rua da Igreja, 137, Meinedo, Lousada, Porto
Douro Railroad (Porto-Marco Urban Trains or Porto-Régua/Pocinho Regional Trains), with exits at Meinedo station (0.1 km from Church of Meinedo). Check here for all the schedules and price table.
Northern Portugal: A28/A3/A7/A24/A4 » A11 (Felgueiras) » Caíde » Rota do Românico/Igreja de Meinedo.
Porto: A4 (Vila Real) » Penafiel/Lousada » Rota do Românico/Igreja de Meinedo.
Central/Southern Portugal: A1 (Porto)/ A29 (V.N. Gaia) » A41 CREP » A42 (Felgueiras) » A11 (Felgueiras) » Caíde » Rota do Românico/Igreja de Meinedo.
Lousada: N320 Meinedo » Rota do Românico/Igreja de Meinedo.