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Religious heritage

Mother Church of Santa Maria Maior (Chaves)
Romanesque in origin, the church is thought to have been built over a Roman temple in the time of Bishop Idacio. The first historical reference to the church dates from 1259, with the tower and porch from this period still standing. It was restored during the reign of João III (in the sixteenth century), based on Renaissance models from the time, and then underwent new reforms in the eighteenth century. Its interior contains three naves, supported by thick columns covered with a roof made of chestnut wood. A dome covers the main altar, and a lantern stands over the Chapel of the Most Holy. In a small square to one side of the church is a pelourinho or pillory in Manueline style, where justice was administered in mediaeval times.
Mother Church of Santa Maria Maior
Church of A Misericórdia (Chaves)
Dating from the end of the seventeenth century, it was built in Baroque style with Renaissance elements. It is said that this was the chapel of the palace of the Dukes of Bragança. Its single nave is covered with decorated tiles from the eighteenth century, showing biblical scenes and motifs. Other important features are its main altar and a painting from 1743 on the wooden ceiling, showing a scene from the Visitation.
Church of A Misericórdia
Church of São João de Deus (Chaves)
This church dates from the eighteenth century, and was built during the reign of King João V, its patron and supporter, whose coat of arms is included in the doorway. At first it was a church adjoining a military hospital supported by the brothers of São João de Deus, and which contained a Theatre of Surgery and Anatomy during the reign of Queen Maria I. Situated on the left bank of the Tâmega, it has an octagonal nave, with Baroque and Neo-Classic construction elements.
Church of São João de Deus
Chapel of Santa Catarina (Chaves)
The façade is now sandwiched between other new buildings. It was founded in 1279, and was responsible for a hostel for travellers and pilgrims. In the early seventeenth century, both were demolished to strengthen the military fortifications. The current building dates from 1861, and includes an eye-catching altarpiece over the main altar. This chapel belongs to the local council.
Chapel of Santa Catarina
Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Loreto (Chaves)
Also known as the Chapel of a Santa Cabeça (or Holy Head), it was founded in 1696 and stood alongside a manor house that was the property of the Abbot of Monforte. Its most outstanding features are its granite façade with high pilasters and curved pediments. Tradition says that the remains of St. Boniface are buried inside the church, thought to protect against the bites of rabid dogs.
Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Loreto

Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Lapa (Chaves)
Municipally owned chapel, its built in the eighteenth century in Baroque style close to the fortress of São Francisco.

Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Lapa
Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo (Chaves)
Privately owned, built in 1516 and a stopping-off point for pilgrims.
Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo
Chapel of Senhor do Calvário (Chaves)
Built on the top of a hill in 1672.
Chapel of Senhor do Calvário

The Parish Church (Verín)
Between 1542 and 1546, while under the protection of the Abbey of Celanova, a church was built and dedicated to Santa María a Maior. For many years, it was dependent as an annex to the Benedictine priory of Pazos. It has an adjoining chapel of As Dores, containing a statue of the Virgin of the same name and a Resting Christ, with articulated arms. The chapel also once contained the well-known “Christ of the Battles”, which now stands in the presbytery of the church, attributed to the sculptor Gregorio Hernández or a member of his school. At the end of the nineteenth century, José García Barbón bought the chapel and donated it to the church. This local dignitary also helped with the reconstruction of the roof, donating an organ and a tower to install the clock.

The Parish Church
The Church and Convent of A Mercede (Verín)
Although the Priory of the Mercedarian Order in Verín originally dates from 1597, the current building was not begun until the start of the eighteenth century. First the cloister was built, followed by the church and the tower (in 1738), in Baroque style with Neoclassic touches in the doorway of the convent. The church contains a number of wooden sculptures, including the Virgin of A Mercede; the main altarpiece from the seventeenth century, attributed to Father Pedro Pascual García; reliefs by Francisco de Moure, from the seventeenth century, and of the Founding of the Order, also from the seventeenth century. The Mendizábal Law that brought about the loss of church lands forced the Mercedarian Order to abandon the building, which passed into private hands, and was used as offices for the town council city hall and as the local jail. At the start of the twentieth century, the Mercedarian Order began to return to the convent, which was finally recovered fifty years later, when the council moved to the new building in Campo do Toural, where it still stands today after a series of reforms and extensions.
The Church and Convent of A Mercede
Chapel of San Lázaro (Verín)
The chapel is mentioned in documents dating from the sixteenth century as being under royal patronage, and alongside it stood a hospital which was first used for pilgrims, and then for lepers. A Brotherhood and an “Order of the Poor” are connected with this chapel and its adjacent hospital, to attend to the homeless. It was dedicated to Lazarus at a time when epidemics of leprosy constantly swept through the region. The local council, judiciary and magistrate of Verín appointed the steward in the name of the king, and in the last third of the sixteenth century, the Count of Monterrei intended to transfer the pilgrims’ hospice to it from the castle. In front of this chapel is the cross of Piety from the seventeenth century, and nearby are several houses whose architecture reveals the typical style used in Verín of old. Standing on a crossroads, the district’s most important fair is still held here today, and is the origin of the fairs and festivals of St. Lazarus, patron saint of the town.
Chapel of San Lázaro
Sanctuary Nosa Señora dos Remedios (Vilamaior do Val, Verín)
An important attraction for pilgrims from the area, from Castile and from Portugal. Nearby, a major romería or religious festival is held. The image of the Virgin of Os Remedios, much worshipped in the local area, was carried in procession through the valley to ask for rain for the crops, or to bring calm in stormy seasons. Work on the building began in 1541, and it was given a new façade in the nineteenth century, completed in the early twentieth century thanks to a donation from García Barbón. It contains numerous pieces from the seventeenth century, especially the main altarpiece, begun by Juan de Angés “The Young” and completed by Bartolomé de Croanes and Alonso Martínez. The latter two sculptors were also responsible for the side altarpieces and a number of effigies of saints. Other altarpieces are by the sculptor Juan Bautista Celme, from the same century.
Sanctuary Nosa Señora dos Remedios
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