General Information
Memorial of Sobrado 
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  • Name: Memorial of Sobrado
  • Typology: Memorial Tombstone
  • Classification: National Monument, by Decree 37 728, DG 4 of 5th January 1950
  • Municipality: Castelo de Paiva
  • Visiting Hours: Free 
  • Entrance Fee: Free 
  • Disabled Access:   
  • Support Services:
  • Telephone : +351 255 810 706 / +351 918 116 488 
  • Fax: +351 255 810 709 
  • E-Mail:  
  • Web: 
  • Location:

    Lugar da Meia Laranja, Sobrado, Castelo de Paiva, Aveiro
  • Geographic Coordinates: 41° 2' 34.00" N / 8° 16' 12.29" W 

Memorial of SobradoAlthough the dating of this monument is fairly complex, since its structure has a different expression from other memorials, thus not allowing typological comparisons, the Memorial of Sobrado has been dated to the mid-thirteenth century.

It is an example of funerary architecture, a Romanesque funeral-commemorative monument, inscribed in a typology of transition between the plain flat grave with funerary stele and the commemorative memorials. It is related with the transfer of the body of Princess D. Mafalda, daughter of King Sancho I and granddaughter of King Afonso Henriques, to the Convent of Arouca.

Historical Figures

D. Mafalda 
Imagem de D. Mafalda
Princess D. Mafalda (1195-1256) was the daughter of King D. Sancho I and of D. Dulce de Aragão and granddaughter of King D. Afonso Henriques. Offered in marriage to
Henrique I of Castile, who would die two years later, she returns to Portugal to settle in the Monastery of Arouca. Her uncorrupted corpse remains there still.

The connection of Princess D. Mafalda to the region of the Tâmega and Sousa comes from the trust that King D. Sancho had in the Ribadouro family, putting the education of his legitimate daughter in the hands of Urraca Viegas, a daughter of Egas Moniz.

D. Sancho I
Imagem de D. Sancho I
Sancho I (Coimbra, 11th November 1154 - Coimbra, 26th March 1211), was nicknamed o Povoador [the Populator], by the way he promoted the settlement of people in the territory, namely through the creation of the cities of Guarda (1199), Gouveia (1186), Covilhã (1186), Viseu (1187) e Bragança (1187), resorting to immigrants from Flanders and Burgundy.

Knighted by his father, King D. Afonso Henriques, he takes on the throne at 18 years of age, in 1172, after an accident which impaired the king during the Battle of Badajoz, in 1169.

He was the leader, while Prince, of an offensive military campaign in Andalusia (1178), that earned him the support of his father and of the Portuguese population. In a counter offensive, the Almohads made several incursions between 1179 and 1184, while the kingdom of Leon also resumed its hostilities against Portugal.

Proclaimed king on 9th December 1185, King D. Sancho takes advantage of the death of the king of Leon, the absence of the sultan of Morocco in Africa and the support of an army of Crusades to plan a new attack against the Almohads. Once the Algarve was conquered, he takes on the title of King of Portugal and of the Algarve.

The Portuguese king was responsible for the restoration of the finances of the Kingdom and the promotion of the culture in Portugal and abroad.

Urraca Viegas
She was born around 1130, and was a daughter of Egas Moniz and Teresa Afonso, of the family of the Ribadouros.  Patron of the Monastery of Saint Saviour of Tuías, in Marco de Canaveses, she was a maid of Princess D. Mafalda, daughter of King  Sancho I and granddaughter of King  Afonso Henriques, who raised her as his own daughter, leaving her, in 1199, a considerable portion of his property.

Legends and Curiosities

Legend has it that the memorials of Ermida, Sobrado, Arouca, Alpendorada and Lordelo have been erected to mark the stopping point of the funeral procession of Princess D. Mafalda, daughter of King Sancho I and granddaughter of King Afonso Henriques, who died on her way back from a pilgrimage to the image of Our Lady of the Silva, in the See of Porto, of whom she was a fervent devotee. 

The death would have occurred in Rio Tinto, on May 1st, 1257. The transfer of her body ended at the Monastery of Arouca, which she helped to reform and where she was buried.

Monastery of Arouca

Across the national territory, there are only six items of this type of funeral monument that, according to some experts, is a Portuguese exclusive.

Its role, though not completely clear, relates to the placement of graves, the evoking of the memory of the deceased or the passage of funeral processions.

A second legend tells a love story that justifies the funerary monument. Many, many years ago, lived in these parts D. Martim who, still in his youth, fell in love with Maria Teresa Taveira, known as Maria, the Kind.

Maria lived with her father, D. Gil, in Castelo or Torre, on the hillside of Vegide. Before marrying his daughter, D. Gil wanted D. Martim to go to war. Fearless and adventurous, D. Martim took on the challenge and was knighted before leaving for Lisbon. Fulfilling the tradition, it was D. Maria who gave him his golden spur, while D. Gil buckled his sword.

D. Martim joined a crusade led by King D. Sancho I, organized to conquer Silves, and was captured by the Moors.
After the death of her father, D. Maria begins to be pursued by D. Fafes, a cruel and rich man, Lord of Raiva.

However, the chaplain of Paços de Godim negotiates the release of D. Martim, who hastens to return, coinciding with the day in which D. Fafes decides to impose himself by force on the beautiful D. Maria.

The two rivals met near the Portais da Boavista, engaging in a tough fight, from which D. Martim emerged victorious.

In memory of this accomplishment, D. Martin ordered the erection in that same place of the grave or the "memory" of D. Fafes.

D. Martim and D. Maria were married and had a son: Saint Anthony.


(mid) 13th century – Original edification;

1191 – A document archived in the Torre do Tombo [Tower of Tombo] seems to imply that it would have served as borderline of the non-existent benedictine monastery, in which may have rested the casket of Princess D. Mafalda, daughter of King Sancho I and granddaughter of King Afonso Henriques, during the trip from the village of Canaveses to the Monastery of Arouca;

2004 – The Memorial of Sobrado is included in the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa;

2013-2014 – Works on the surrounding area of the Memorial, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque;

2015 – Works for the general conservation of the Memorial, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.


The Memorial of Sobrado's structure is distinct from the other monuments of this sort, by not featuring any arch.

Plan of the Memorial of Sobrado

It consists of two vertical chevets with a discoid summit, engraved Latin crosses on each side, on which two horizontal slabs sit. The top one is rectangular and has the engraving of a cross within a triangle, and the lower one, corresponding to a tomb cover, features a convex surface.

Façades of the Memorial of Sobrado

In the latter there is the engraving of a long sword and a Greek cross, inscribed in a circle, a regular element of the Romanesque, both in funerary art as in the churches' walls. In the exterior faces of the two slabs there are also engravings of swords.


In the scope of the Study for the Enhancement and Protection of the Monuments of the  Route of the Romanesque of the Vale do Sousa, in which the guidelines and framework of the subsequent development of technical projects for implementation and respective works for the enhancement and protection of the surroundings were defined, the conditions considered most relevant for the preservation and requalification of the surroundings were described.

The aim of this Study is to preserve the context in which these are integrated, namely the integration of constraints on legal provisions - such as Special Protection Areas - restricting urban interventions that may endanger the integrity of the surroundings.

Surroundings of the Memorial of Sobrado

We also proceeded to the definition of areas and interventions of general nature to take into account in the surroundings, in order to extend the planning to a wider area and allow better circulation of tourists in the region.

Finally, the Study defined the priority interventions to be carried out in the surroundings, to allow the stabilization of the territories and, simultaneously, correct and/or create structures and supporting infrastructures.

The urban expansion and the decay of the Quinta da Boavista are two factors that have a negative impact on the surroundings of the Memorial. In fact, the current context no longer corresponds to the original monument.

Thus, the Study considers a priority to consistently enhance the surroundings of the property, to redefine public spaces, to review pavements and to promote the continuity with other adjacent spaces. The lighting should be reviewed and the vacant buildings of the Quinta should be safeguarded and enhanced, as they have architectural quality.

Restoration and Enhancement

Restoration and Enhancement of the Memorial of Sobrado

The project for the preservation of the monument involved treating the framing surroundings, namely creating a green space, preserving the wall of the Quinta da Boavista and respective gateway, recovering the access road to the Quinta and treating the border areas with a contiguous road system, replacing the trees lacking in the alignment and installing its own lighting system.

Restoration and Enhancement of the Memorial of Sobrado

In the Memorial, we proceeded to the preservation of the stony elements, including the cleaning and treatment of joints. The current profile of the land was maintained by performing specific adjustments of quotas.

Restoration and Enhancement of the Memorial of Sobrado

Around the monument, the triangular shape of its perimeter suffered interventions in the pavement, to enhance the reading of the Memorial. Two support seats were added.

Restoration and Enhancement of the Memorial of Sobrado

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Know More

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MIRANDA, Abílio – “Marmoiral”. In Boletim da Comissão Municipal de Cultura. Penafiel. (1947) p. 9-10.

MIRANDA, Abílio – Terras de Penafiel. Penafiel: [s. n.], 1937. Vol. I.

ROCHA, Manuel Joaquim Moreira da; LOUREIRO, Olímpia Maria da Cunha – Memórias Paroquiais de Castelo de Paiva e outros documentos. Castelo de Paiva: Câmara Municipal de Castelo de Paiva, 1988.

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