The Church of Cabeça Santa dates back to the first half of the 13th century and is an excellent example of Portuguese Romanesque architecture.
The constant displacement of artisans [masons, sculptures, carpenters] in medieval times promoted the repetition of constructive and ornamental models in several territories.
The portals and sculptures in the capitals of Cabeça Santa are very similar to those in the Church of Saint Martin of Cedofeita in Porto, which is decorated in a very similar way to the Romanesque Cathedral of Porto and other examples of the Romanesque style in the region of Coimbra.
The main portal presents a tympanum with heads of cows, built to symbolically protect the entrance to the Church. A representation of a street performer [acrobat] stands out in the south portal for its originality.
The artistic set of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, from the Modern Era [17th-18th centuries], deserves special attention.
Inside the Church are the remains of three graves excavated in the stone and three medieval tombs.
Classification: National Monument - 1927
Route: Tâmega Valley
10th-11th centuries – Original edification (now gone);
13th century – Romanesque edification;
16th-17th centuries – Construction of the lateral chapel, decorated with tiles and gilded altarpiece;
17th-18th centuries – Construction of the bell tower;
1937 – Restoration works promoted by DGEMN – Direção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais [General Directorate for Buildings and National Monuments], which included: complete demolition of the exterior walls and subsequent reconstruction, covering crevices with panelling, restoring two crevices with spiked masonry;
1938 – Cleaning and rebuilding the covering, repairing wall joints, laying masonry pavement;
1939 – Conclusion of the restoration works: cleaning of the masonry, closing of the joints, rebuilding of the crevices, door, assembling of the roof, covering, disassembling of the altar;
1940 – Several works in the main chapel’s covering, doors and tiling;
1942 – Restoration works that included: general renovation of the sacristy and the lateral chapel’s arch, and placing of the 17th century railing; transference of the main altar to Saint Vincent of Irivo;
1950 – Restoration works: laying new floor in the Church’s two lateral bodies, repairing the guard spaces, restoring the lateral chapel, sacristy and façades; moving the bell tower; electrical installation and general repair of the churchyard;
1951 – Modification of the electric system, maintenance of the cover;
1966 – Transferring the main altar;
1973 – Conservation in the roofing, doors, window joineries and sound electrical installation;
1985 – Cover repairs;
1998 – The Church of the Saviour of Cabeça Santa is included in the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa;
2003-2004 – Works of general preservation and enhancement of the property in the scope of the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa project: general review of the roofing, general improvement of the exterior spans, finishings of exterior joints, washing of the batters, removal of the pavement of the churchyard and placement of a new one, preliminary and follow-up archaeological works, replacement of the slabs in the exterior of the monument and parochial parlour, construction of supports to the tombs and general improvement of the bell tower;
2013-2014 – Works for the general conservation of the Church, mostly at the levels of the roofs, external walls and lighting/ventilation openings, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.
Divine Saviour - 6th August
Sunday - 8 am; Saturday - 6.30 pm
Monument fully or partly accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.
+351 255 810 706
+351 918 116 488
How to get here:
Largo Padre Carlos Pereira Soares, Cabeça Santa, 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 Cabeça Santa.
Porto: A4 (Vila Real) » Entre-os-Rios/Penafiel Sul » Entre-os-Rios » Rota do Românico/Igreja de Cabeça Santa.
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 Cabeça Santa.
Penafiel: Entre-os-Rios » Rota do Românico/Igreja de Cabeça Santa.