Monastery of Refóios

Religious Heritage

A few kilometres from the village of Ponte de Lima, on the right bank of the river, stands the imposing Monastery of Santa Maria de Refóios do Lima, the largest in the municipality and one of the most relevant in the Alto Minho. It was founded in the 12th century by Dom Afonso Ansemondes, having hosted a community of friars of the Order of Saint Augustine, and was later attached to the Monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra. In the 16th century, it underwent restoration works and, with the extinction of the religious orders in 1834, became a private estate, until it was acquired by the Municipality of Ponte de Lima in 1986. Two years later, adaptation works were made to house the IPVC’s School of Agriculture (Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo). The adaptation works, by the architect Fernando Távora, involved the creation of new buildings, constructed separately, but harmoniously integrated into the monastery complex. Come and see this beautiful example of Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque religious architecture.


Ponte de Lima (Viana do Castelo)

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