The unexpected archaeological discovery, in 2006, of nearly 70 stone elements with Romanesque decorations during the works for the redesign of the Abragão Civic Centre (Penafiel), was at the origin of the creation of the Interpretation Centre of Romanesque Sculpture (CIER), at the initiative of the Route of the Romanesque.
Ornamented pieces, some carved, others formerly, belonging to the old nave of the Church of Saint Peter of Abragão, rebuilt in the second half of the 17th century, were included in the construction of the walls of the building that stood as a blacksmith workshop.
Capitals, bases, voussoirs and frustums were found which had belonged to a portal that, by the size and quantity, allow experts to consider it to be the main portal of the Church of Abragão.
The carvings and sculptures found - capitals with affronted animals, beveled palmettes, voussoirs carved with seccant circles - are close to those that can be observed in the Churches of Saint Genesius of Boelhe and of the Savior of Paço de Sousa, both in Penafiel.
The chevet and the respective arch formed, until these findings, the only remaining Romanesque elements of the original construction.
The partial and hypothetical reconstitution of the portal and the rosette of the main façade of the Church of Abragão, based on the aforementioned stone elements, is the driving force behind the museographic project of this interpretation centre.
Open to the public on 25 July, 2020, the CIER will also offer visitors the chance to get to know the chronological, social and cultural context of Romanesque art, highlighting the importance of stonemasons and sculptors in its materialisation.
It consists of an exhibition area of approximately 300 square meters, divided into six thematic areas (Romanesque Sculpture; Symbols and Meanings; Stonemasons and Sculptors; Church of Abragão; Abragão Portal; Projection), to offer a visit that combines new technologies with unique objects and knowledge.
The sculpture "Boi" (Ox), created by artist Bordalo II through the re-purposing of rubbish, deserves special mention for its reinterpretation of Romanesque aesthetics.
The Route of the Romanesque is a tourist-cultural project that comprises, currently, 58 monuments and two interpretation centre, located in 12 municipalities of the Sousa, Douro and Tâmega valleys (Amarante, Baião, Castelo de Paiva, Celorico de Basto, Cinfães, Felgueiras, Lousada, Marco de Canaveses, Paços de Ferreira, Paredes, Penafiel and Resende), in northern Portugal.
Route: Tâmega Valley
Thursday to Sunday: 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm.
Tuesday and Wednesday: by appointment (minimum 10 people).
Closed on Mondays and on January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and December 25.
Ticket, per person: 2,00€
Ticket for school groups, including senior universities, on study trips, per person: 0,50€
Ticket + guided tour (minimum 5 persons), per person: 3,00€
Ticket + guided tour for school groups, including senior universities, on study trips, per person: 1,00€
Circuit Ticket (valid for 90 days)
CIER + CIR ticket, per person: 4,00€
CIER + CIR + 1 Monument of the Route of the Romanesque ticket, per person: 5,00€
CIER + CIR ticket and guided tour (minimum 5 persons), per person: 6,00€
Exemptions (free visits)
Children up to 12 years of age, inclusive*, not participating in guided school visits;
Members of the Portuguese Museology Association (APOM), International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)*;
Officials of the Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage (DGPC) and Regional Directorates for Culture*;
Journalists in the exercise of their duties, upon prior notice*;
Tourism professionals upon presentation of proof of registration with the RNAAT;
Groups from Portuguese charitable institutions or areas of social action of local authorities or other institutions of public interest with proven economic need*;
Visitors with disabilities and 1 accompanying person upon presentation of certificate of disability equal to or higher than 60%;
Employees of the Municipalities covered by the Route of the Romanesque*.
Student Card*, not participating in a guided school visit;
Youth Card*, not participating in a guided school visit;
Visitors aged 65 or over*, not participating in a guided school visit.
*Requires documentary proof.
**Payment by ATM is still not available at the Interpretation Centre of the Romanesque.
General rules applicable to all visits
Guided tours should be booked (at least 5 business days in advance) and confirmed in advance;
Groups with more than 30 people are not allowed to enter simultaneously; Discounts are not cumulative.
This Centre is fully accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.
+351 255 810 708
+351 918 116 488
How to get here:
Largo Dr. Armando Melo, Abragão, Penafiel
If you are travelling from the North of Portugal via the A28 (Porto), A3 (Porto), A24 (Chaves/Viseu), A7 (Póvoa de Varzim) or A11 (Esposende/Marco de Canaveses) follow A4 (Bragança/Matosinhos) and exit towards Penafiel/Lousada. Follow the directions towards Penafiel and then follow the signs for Igreja de Abragão/Centro de Interpretação.
From Porto take the A4 (Vila Real). Exit in Penafiel/Lousada and follow the directions towards Penafiel.
If you are travelling from the Centre or South via the A1 (Porto) or A29 (V.N. Gaia), take the A41 CREP. Then take the A4 (Vila Real), exit at the Penafiel/Lousada junction and follow the directions towards Penafiel.
If you are already in the city of Penafiel, follow the directions towards Abragão following the signs that lead to its Church and to the Interpretation Centre (Igreja de Abragão/Centro de Interpretação) using the N320 road.