Marco de Canaveses
Built on the left bank of the river Tâmega, along a major thoroughfare linking the coast line to the interior of the river Douro, the Church of Saint Nicholas of Canaveses was founded after 1320.
The main portal attests this late chronology: absence of columns and capitals. The entire building is devoid of ornamentation, thereby enhancing the later character of its so-called “românico de resistência” [resistance Romanesque].
Of modest dimensions, it was subjected to deep changes in the Modern Era marked by the opening of large rectangular windows in the chancel and in the nave.
Also, the triumphal arches and the baptistery, in a classical language, were the work of this period. Inside, granite ornaments prevail, although, given the existing traces, as the Middle Ages gave way to the Modern Era, the Church may have been coated with frescoes, as shown by the examples preserved.
Accidentally discovered in 1973, today some panels with depictions of Saint Anthony and fragments of an Annunciation remain, on the north wall of the nave, a Benedictine saint, Saint Catherine of Alexandria and another Annunciation, on the south wall of the nave.
Classification: Public Interest Building – 1971
Route: Tâmega Valley
12th century - Beginning of the reconstruction of the Bridge of Canaveses;
14th century (2nd quarter) - The Churches of Saint Nicholas of Canaveses and Saint Mary of Sobretâmega were only built from this period onwards;
1355, August 5th - Peace was declared between D. Afonso IV and D. Pedro I, father and son, in the borough of Canaveses;
15th-16th century (transition) - Mural painting campaigns in the Church of Saint Nicholas;
1565 - Date engraved in the tomb of Álvaro de Carvalho and his heirs;
1944 - Demolition of the Bridge rebuilt in the 12th century, which was reconstructed a little farther downstream;
1971, November 22nd - Classification of the ensemble made up by the Churches of Saint Mary of Sobretâmega and Saint Nicholas as Public Interest Buildings;
1973 - Unveiling of sections of mural painting in the Church of Saint Nicholas;
1977, May 16th-20th - The José de Figueiredo Institute included the frescoes of Saint Nicholas of Canaveses in the programme of interventions that should be carried out that year;
1980s - Submersion of the Bridge of Canaveses (rebuilt in 1944) and displacement of the Chapel of Saint Lazarus and of the Cross of the Lord of the Good Passage;
1990s - Several conservation works were carried out in the Churches of Saint Nicholas of Canaveses and of Sobretâmega, under the supervision of the DGEMN – Direção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais [General Directorate for Buildings and National Monuments];
2010 - Integration of the Church of Saint Nicholas of Canaveses in the Route of the Romanesque;
2013-2015 - Renovation of the roofs and preservation of the external walls of the Church of Saint Nicholas, conservation of the main retable and collateral altarpieces, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque;
2018-2020 - Renovation of the roofs and conservation of the retable of the Chapel of St. Lazarus; conservation of the mural paintings of the Church of Saint Nicholas, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.
Saint Nicholas - 6th December
Saturday - 7 pm
Monument not accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.
+351 255 810 706
+351 918 116 488
How to get here:
Rua de S. Nicolau, São Nicolau, Marco de Canaveses, Porto
Douro Railroad (Porto-Marco Urban Trains or Porto-Régua/Pocinho Regional Trains), with exits at Marco de Canaveses station (3.0 km from Church of Saint Nicholas). Check here for all the schedules and price table.
Northern Portugal: A28/A3/A24/A7/A11 » A4 (Vila Real) » Marco de Canaveses » Rota Românico/Igreja de São Nicolau.
Porto: A4 (Vila Real) » Marco de Canaveses » Rota Românico/Igreja de São Nicolau.
Central/Southern Portugal: A1 (Porto)/ A29 (V.N. Gaia) » A41 CREP » A4 (Vila Real) » Marco de Canaveses » Rota Românico/Igreja de São Nicolau.
Marco de Canaveses: N211 (Penafiel) » Rota Românico/Igreja de São Nicolau.