Next Saturday, 25 July, at 11:00 a.m., the Interpretation Centre of Romanesque Sculpture (CIER) opens to the public in Abragão, Penafiel. Admission is free until the end of September.
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 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 shop.
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 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.
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; Nave/Projection), to offer a visit that combines new technologies with unique objects and knowledge.
The CIER represents a total investment (studies, projects, contracting, museography...) of around 1.1 million euros, 85% co-financed by European funds, through the 2007/2013 (ON.2 - O Novo Norte) and 2014/2020 (Norte 2020) Regional Operational Programs for Northern Portugal.
This is the second largest facility aimed at disseminating the historical and cultural heritage promoted by the Route of the Romanesque to open its doors since the inauguration of the Interpretation Centre of the Romanesque, in Lousada, on 27 September, 2018.
Currently, the Route of the Romanesque comprises 58 monuments, located in 12 municipalities (Amarante, Baião, Castelo de Paiva, Celorico de Basto, Cinfães, Felgueiras, Lousada, Marco de Canaveses, Paços de Ferreira, Paredes, Penafiel and Resende) of the Sousa, Douro and Tâmega valleys, in northern Portugal.