Sunday, April 7, marks the beginning of the activities commemorating the completion of the works promoted by the Route of the Romanesque in the Monastery of the Saviour of Paço de Sousa, which will end on the 14th, with a concert by Orquestra do Norte.
The ceremony of inauguration of the conservation and safeguarding works carried out in the Monastery of Paço de Sousa, beginning at 3:00 pm on April 7, includes, in addition to the protocolary session, the celebration (4:00 pm) of a Eucharist presided over by the Bishop of Porto, D. Manuel Linda, and a guided tour (5:30 pm) to the various areas of the Monastery.
The following Sunday, at 6:00 pm, the Monastery's church will host the Easter Concert - "Requiem in D minor", by Franz von Suppé (1819-1895), by Orquestra do Norte. Directed by Fernando Marinho, the show, with free admission, will include performances by soloists Sara Braga Simões (soprano), Patrícia Quinta (contralto), Mário João Alves (tenor) and Job Tomé (bass) and the choirs Polifónico da Lapa and Escola Superior de Educação do Porto.
The intervention, aimed at rehabilitating the old Benedictine Monastery of Paço de Sousa, one of the most important references of Portuguese Romanesque architecture, included archaeological excavations and various conservation and restoration works, which began on April 18, 2017, International Day for Monuments and Sites.
The works in question, developed under a technical project by the Regional Directorate for Culture of Northern Portugal, included roof maintenance, drainage and earthworks in the surrounding area; cleaning and treatment of walls, conservation of ceilings, electrical installation and the renovation of the cloister.
There were also conservation and restoration works in the sacristy, focused on furniture, the altarpiece, the coffered ceiling and the basin's mural painting.
These interventions involved a total investment of 482,000 euros, 85% co-financed by the 2014/2020 Regional Operational Program for Northern Portugal 2014/2020 (Norte 2020) through the European Regional Development Fund, and 15% by the Municipality of Penafiel, within the scope of "Route of the Romanesque: Heritage, Culture and Tourism" operation presented by the Association of Municipalities of Vale do Sousa, managing entity of the Route of the Romanesque.
The second phase of the works, in the amount of 59 thousand euros, fully paid by the Municipality of Penafiel, included the completion of the archaeological excavations and the anthropological intervention, as well as the structural assessment of the church and on-site supervision.
Therefore, the total amount of the intervention in this National Monument amounted to 541 thousand euros.
The Monastery of Paço de Sousa was founded in the 10th century. The church was built in the 13th century and the chancel, the sacristy, the cloister and what remains of the monastic building date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The complex underwent renovation works in the 19th (1883 and 1887) and 20th (1927-1938) centuries.
Inside the church is one of the most beautiful pieces of Portuguese Romanesque sculpture: the tomb of Egas Moniz de Ribadouro, the legendary servant of D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal.
The Monastery of Paço de Sousa is part of the Route of the Romanesque, a tourist-cultural project that currently consists of 58 monuments spread across 12 municipalities in the Sousa, Douro and Tâmega valleys in northern Portugal.