Via Sacra (Sacred Way) of Our Lady of Peneda

Peneda, Arcos de Valdevez

In the portico square, which forms the beginning of the Via Sacra stairway, there is a fountain with the Angel Gabriel on the inscribed column, which, together with the Virgin appearing on the interior of the porch, creates an image of the Annunciation. This baroque portico, leads to a series of steps and levels where the twenty chapels of the Via Sacra are located, the result of two periods of construction. The oldest are mentioned for the first time in 1742 and correspond to the smaller chapels, arranged down the east side of the staircase These have a quadrangular plan, a rectilinear portal and follow the stages of the Passion of Christ, from the steps of Christ in the garden to the Resurrection. The shrines on the west side date back to the decade of 1780 and are larger, have a hexagonal plan, more elaborate external lines, with their main façade finished with a triangular top and worked lintels emphasized by contra-curving cornices. These are more spacious with complementary steps to those on the opposite side and depict predominantly scenes from the childhood of Christ.

At the top of the staircase is the main square, surrounded by the old accommodation buildings for the pilgrims, the so-called "quartiles", now transformed into an hotel. Currently, small shops selling religious articles and other offerings are also installed here for the thousands of pilgrims and tourists visiting the shrine of the Lady of Peneda.



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