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Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête 
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  • Name: Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête
  • Typology: Monastery
  • Classification: National Monument, by Decree 16-06-1910, DG 136 of 23rd June 1910
  • Municipality: Paredes
  • Patron Saint´s Day: Saint Peter - 29th June   
  • Worship Hours: Sunday - 11.00 am   
  • Visiting Hours: By appointment   
  • Support Services:
  • Telephone : +351 255 810 706 / +351 918 116 488 
  • Fax: +351 255 810 709 
  • E-Mail:  
  • Web: 
  • Location:
    Largo do Mosteiro, Cête, Paredes, Porto.
  • How to Get Here:


  • Geographic Coordinates: 41° 10' 50.790" N / 8° 22' 0.456" W 

Monastery of Saint Peter of CêteThe sacredness of the land by the tomb of D. Gonçalo Oveques, whose funeral chapel is in the tower of St. Peter, could be in the origin of the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête with documentation proving its existence in 924 and, in 985, it is possible to find references to a basilica in honour of Saint Peter.

Other historians suggest this nobleman as the responsible for the reconstruction of the Monastery, as he may have lived in the 11th century.

The building that exists today, however, does not correspond to such late times, featuring several Gothic arrangements, made in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, according to the inscription on the north wall of the chancel, near the tomb of Abbot D. Estêvão Anes, who died on 23rd July 1323, and was responsible for the complete renovation of the Church.

The fact that these monastic buildings were at that time, the target of constant attacks from Muslims and Normans, justifies the existence of defensive fortifications in the vicinities, and, in this case, the Castle of Vandoma.

The patrons, powerful families that made significant donations to the monastic orders, were responsible for defending the monasteries, benefiting from the rights of "lodging and boarding", as well as the right to be buried in the Monastery.

The implementation of this Monastery on this site highlights the organizational planning of the territory at that time, through the parishes, and reflects the important role that religious orders have played in the formation and consolidation of the kingdom. The presence of a church would guarantee the ownership and occupation of the territory.

Historical Figures

Abbot D. Estêvão Anes
Abbot D. Estêvão Anes was in charge of the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête from 1278, and died in 1323. He was given great responsibility in the reform works of the Church, thus allowing to ground the dating of this temple in Gothic times.

D. Gonçalo Oveques
Tomb of D. Gonçalo OvequesD. Gonçalo Oveques, founder of the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête fought by the side of Gonçalo Mendes da Maia, the Lidador, friend of King D. Afonso Henriques and responsible for numerous and epic conquests in the battle field.

D. Gonçalo Oveques had a son, Diego Gonçalves.

Guterre Mendes
He was a son of D. Mendo Dias and D. Guntinha Guterres’ son and is documented since 1072. Married to Onega Gonçalves, of the powerful family of the lords of Moreira, as mentioned above, he owned a vast patrimony of lands in the Litoral Douro region. According to the funerary epitaph, he would have died in 1117, and is buried in the Monastery of Cête, where the tomb from a member of his lineage was reused, probably with the intention of reinforcing the legitimacy of his patrimonial rights over the Monastery of Cête.

Legends and Curiosities
Although the interior features the spatial arrangements of the Gothic, the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête evidences the use made of the first rows of the nave, of Romanesque characteristics, as well as the south portal to access the cloister.
The Monastery is of particular relevance in the region, due to the fact that, by providing a very specific dating of the works carried out, it stands as comparison to the remaining monuments. In fact, Cête is the key-monument in the process of dating of the late Romanesque in the region.

10th century – Original foundation;

11th century (end) – Second foundation;

12th century (1. º quarter) – Adoption of the Rule of Saint Benedict;

13th (end) and 14th (early) centuries – Rebuilding of the Church;

16th century – Construction or reconstruction of the founder's chapel;

1881-1882 – Restoration works, under the Parish’s initiative;

1936 – Beginning of the restoration campaign under the guidance of the DGEMN – Direção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais [General Directorate for Buildings and National Monuments];

1948-1953 – Miscellaneous works;

1966 – Conservation works;
1967 – General conservation, drainage of the cloister and electric installation;
1972 – Repairing the damages caused by a storm;
1976 – Maintenance of the roofing;

1980 – Repair of the Church’s eaves confining with the sacristy and the cloister;

1982 – Repair and conservation of the body adjacent to the sacristy;
90s – The Church of Saint Peter of Cête becomes a ward of the IPPAR - Instituto Português do Património Arquitetónico [Portuguese Institute of Architectural Heritage];

1998 – The Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête is included in the Route of the Romanesque of Vale do Sousa;

2015 – Works for the general conservation of the Church, mostly at the levels of the roofs, external walls and lighting/ventilation openings, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.


The Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête is an example of religious , Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with a monastic Church, of single nave with longitudinal plan and a chancel with two flights of semicircular crowning and a gabled frontispiece, usually considered Romanesque, although classified by Almeida as Gothic, since it results from a reconstruction of the  14th century.

Plan of the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête

From the primitive Romanesque Church, possibly from the second half of the twelfth century, some decorated stonework, the portal of the cloister and the bottom of the walls of most of the nave were preserved. The battled tower and the powerful buttress which runs alongside the portico emphasize the defensive nature of its construction.

The décor of the façade, the ratio between the Church’s length and width, between the transept’s height and that of the nave, and the sculpture of the capitals and that of the corbels give evidence of the Gothic style of this Monastery.

From the ancient construction, the first rows of the nave and, probably, its South portal, leading to the cloister, were reused.

In the series of works carried out in the 13th and 14th centuries, the chancel was rebuilt, the nave increased in height and length and the main façade was completely remodelled. A good amount of initials, almost all geometric, may also be found on the walls.

The façade of the chevet has its own characteristics of Romanesque, while using blind arcades to liven up and rhythm the wall. The corbels supporting the cornice are, however, clearly from the Gothic period, as is the ratio between the nave’s height and that of the chevet.

Façade of the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête

The main portal rekindles traits from the epigonal Romanesque, although the lateral portal to the North is to be considered as Gothic.

The tower that shelters the burial chapel of D. Gonçalo Oveques, in addition to the bell function, assumes the symbolic representation of a lordship, as, in medieval times, the abbot was usually a nobleman. Faced with its robust and defensive look, it would not be, at all, a tower meant for housing.

In the Manueline period, the Monastery underwent a renovation process, namely in the cloister, the Chapter Room, the buttresses of the main facade which reinforce the tower, the decoration of the vault in the funerary chapel and of the arcosolium of D. Gonçalo Oveques.

The chapel's interior also received polychrome tile panels, of Hispanic-Moorish origin, composed of different patterned ashlars: phytomorphic, geometrical and ribbons.

The panels, which resort to blue, green and brown on white background, are edged by frames of simplified geometric design.


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 Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête

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 diagnosis for the Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête highlights the need for preservation of the premises, able to guarantee the most suitable integration of the monument.

It is important to enhance the accesses to the Church, unifying and protecting them from the landscape and buildings, extending the intervention to the outdoor spaces, the mortuary chapel, the ruins of the chapel and the cemetery.

The village of Figueira shall be object of an intervention to remedy the landscaping aggression that it currently represents.

  • +Nave of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Wall-painting of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Monastery of Cête

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  • +Capital of the triumphal arch of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Chevet of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Nave of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Funerary Chapel of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Wall-painting of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Tomb of D. Gonçalo Oveques at the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Capitals of the west portal of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Tower adjacent to the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Capitals of the west portal of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Capital the triumphal arch of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Cloister of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +West portal of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Monastery of Cête

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  • +Capitals of the west portal of the Monastery of Cête

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  • +Gargoyle of the Monastery of Cête

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Know More

AFONSO, Luís Urbano de Oliveira – A Pintura mural portuguesa entre o Gótico Internacional e o fim do Renascimento: formas, significados, funções. Lisboa: [s.n.], 2006. Tese de Doutoramento em História da Arte, apresentada à Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa. 3 Vols.

ALMEIDA, Carlos Alberto Ferreira de – “Castelos medievais do noroeste de Portugal”. In BALIL, Alberto - Finis Terrae: estudios en lembranza. Santiago de Compostela: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 1992.

ALMEIDA, Carlos Alberto Ferreira de – “Geografia da Arquitectura Românica”. In História da Arte em Portugal. Lisboa: [s.n.], 1986. Vol. 3.

ALMEIDA, Carlos Alberto Ferreira de – História da Arte em Portugal: o Românico. Lisboa: Publicações Alfa, 1986.

ALMEIDA, Carlos Alberto Ferreira de – "Território paroquial de Entre-Douro-e-Minho: sua sacralização". Nova Renascença. Porto: Associação Cultural "Nova Renascença". Vol. I, nº 2 (1981) p. 202-212.

BARREIRO, José do – Monografia de Paredes. Porto: Tipografia Mendonça, 1922.

BARREIRO, José do – Monografia de Paredes: correcções e acrescentos. Porto: Tipografia Mendonça, 1924.

BARROCA, Mário Jorge – Epigrafia medieval portuguesa: 862-1422: Corpus Epigráfico Medieval Português. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, 2000. Vol. II, Tomo I.

DGEMN – Monumentos: Boletim da Direcção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais: número 3. [CD-ROM]. Lisboa: DGEMN, 1998.

DIAS, Pedro – A arquitectura gótica portuguesa. Lisboa: Editorial Estampa, 1994.

FERRAZ, Luiz Barbosa Leão Coelho – Antiguidades, rendimentos, padroados, privilegios e prerogativas do tão antigo como nobre Mosteiro de Cette situado no velho e extincto concelho de Aguiar do Souza hoje no de Paredes. Porto: Typ. de Arthur José de Sousa & Irmão, imp. 1895. 24 p.

MATTOSO, José – O Monaquismo Ibérico e Cluny. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, 2002.

ROSAS, Lúcia (coord.) – Românico do Vale do Sousa. Lousada: Comunidade Urbana do Vale do Sousa, 2008.

TOMÉ, Miguel – Património e restauro em Portugal. Porto: Faculdade de Letras da
Universidade do Porto, 1998. Vol. I, II e III.