Having integrated the "julgado" [jurisdiction] of Santa Cruz, the parish of Santo Isidoro grew around a cult that became hagio-toponimic, revealing both its venerability and its importance during the progress of local Christianization (or of resistance, in times of occupation).
Saint Isidore of Seville was a Hispanic bishop of the 7th century and if, as Pierre David refers, the fact of not being a martyr places him as the patron of churches built after the 9th century, it is nonetheless revealing of the presence of this invocation, so close to the paths of the Reconquest, along the banks of the Tâmega.
Father Carvalho da Costa locates the building at "Couto" de Travanca [place with privileges], in 1706; this was a regular abbey with an income of approximately 250 thousand réis [former Portuguese currency unit]. Twenty years later Francisco Craesbeeck confirms the patronage, stating it was an "old and sacred" Church, but with no tabernacle. In 1758, the Abbot João de Freitas Peixoto provides us with more comprehensive information, giving a more focused description of Santo Isidoro, his parish.
It belonged to the archbishopric of Braga and reported, spiritually and ecclesiastically, to the province of Entre-Douro-e-Minho and to the municipality of Santa Cruz do Tâmega, of which the Count of Óbidos was the done. In secular terms, it reported to Guimarães, since it belonged to its judicial district.
Within the reorganizing impulse of the 19th century, the parish became part of the judicial district of Amarante, of the municipality of Marco de Canaveses and of the Diocese of Porto, being transferred to its territory in 1882.
The Church of Saint Isidore, built on the right bank of the river Tâmega, stands out by the fact that it shows a very well-preserved structure of Romanesque flavour, with a single nave and a rectangular chancel.
Inside, in addition to the smooth exposed granite wall faces livened up by narrow crevices, there is a simple triumphal arch, slightly broken, without any ornamental elements.
Deprived of its altarpiece ensemble, the Church of Saint Isidore appears nowadays in the eyes of the visitor as a bare space due to the deep restoration works it underwent in 1977, which uncovered a series of high-quality mural paintings located on the chancel's back wall and on the ones that stand right next to it.
We are in the presence of a pictorial set that, besides being dated back to 1536, was signed by the painter Moraes. Very little or nothing is known about this artist, besides the fact that he had some influence within the Renaissance atmosphere experienced in the geographically close urban area of Porto, at the time of the patronage of the bishop of Viseu, D. Miguel da Silva (1480-1556).
Located on the back wall, the painting presents itself as a triptych, divided by two yellow columns. The central panel showed, naturally, the figure of the patron saint of the Church, Saint Isidore; nowadays, around the Romanesque crevice, we are only able to see the ends of his mitre and crosier and the lower part of his mantle.
We find the saint's head in a stone fragment, which is displayed in the chancel. The patron saint was once flanked by elegant female figures wearing in courtly clothes: the Virgin and Child and Saint Catherine of Alexandria; the latter was holding the sword and the wheel of her martyrdom, having the severed head of the pagan emperor responsible for her death at her feet.
False architectures create a scenic sense. On the adjacent walls, on the Gospel side, we have Saint Michael weighing souls and defeating the dragon and, on the Epistle side, Saint James is depicted as a pilgrim.
Regarding the pictorial collection, we should also highlight two oil paintings, one on wood and another on canvas. The former, from the 17th century, depicts the Calvary scene and the latter, from the 19th century, shows the well-known model of the Immaculate Virgin.