Mosteiro de S. João d’Arga

Religious Heritage

Located on Serra d’ Arga, the monastery of São João is home to the most famous and genuine pilgrimage in Alto Minho, the São João d’Arga pilgrimage. On 28 and 29 August, thousands of pilgrims go up the mountain and follow the tradition of going around the monastery chapel three times and then making two offerings: one to the saint... and the other to the devil. Of Romanesque architecture, this temple has a single nave, with a quadrangular chancel. Although the date of its foundation is unknown, its characteristics point to the end of the 13th century. It underwent many reforms over the centuries, with the one at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century having the greatest impact on its structure. The pilgrims’ hostel built around the chapel welcomes all those who take advantage of the great feast on the night of 28 to 29 to listen to the challenge songs and to try the local specialities, aguardente with honey, corn bread, chouriço sausage, kid and vinho verde. Among the pilgrims there are many devout people, who go to the mountain only to keep promises and attend religious ceremonies. It is undoubtedly the most genuine pilgrimage in Caminha municipality and deserves a visit! With a splendid view of the mountain and the surrounding area, fresh and green, the São João d’Arga Monastery is a must see on a trip to Alto Minho!

Caminha (Viana do Castelo)

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