Mosteiro e Igreja de Ermelo

Religious Heritage

A place of worship, Ermelo attracts many pilgrims in honour of St. Benedict. To get there, you must walk down a small slope, along small narrow streets and past rural houses to the banks of the River Lima. On the way, you will come across many orange groves. The sweet oranges of Ermelo were introduced by the monks of the Cistercian order. But this was not the only inheritance left here by the wise monks. The monastery of Santa Maria de Ermelo was built according to the Cistercian model, but lasted little time like this. In a total state of disrepair, it was eventually secularised in 1560 and converted into a Romanesque church. Of the cloister, only an arched arcade remains. The south nave has disappeared, but you can still see beautiful imperfect, triumphal arch, which is easily identified from the outside. Currently, the parish takes on a peculiar dimension on the day of the annual pilgrimage in July, but on normal days, it is a quiet, peaceful retreat. The silence is only interrupted by the current of the River Lima and the sounds of the people working and protecting the agricultural land. As you pass the church, look over at the river that flows unstoppably past the terraces of vineyards and orchards and bid farewell to Ermelo. Not forever … Visitors to the monastery of Ermelo only manage to say "until next time”!

Arcos de Valdevez (Viana do Castelo)

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