São Pedro de Lourosa Mozarab Church
Situated in the ancient village of Lourosa. This church, was built (or rebuilt) in 912 AC, in accordance with an existing epigraph.
Epigraph dated 912 AD.
The temple is basilical-shaped (crossed, a prominent transept and a threefold head, with three separated naves and sequences of horseshoe arches, the central is the longest and preceded by a single compartment narthex.
The current interest, in this church dates from the beginning of the XX century due to the discovery, by several researchers, of it’s mozarabic style (Where structural elements of visigoth Christians combine with mixed elements of the Arabian culture.) due to the presence of arabs who from the VIII to XI centuries dominated this region which is today portuguese territory. It should be underlined that due to this arab influence besides the horseshoe arches it’s twinned windows from the Middle Ages are unique in Portugal. It is also the the only church that still prevails, with this style, in Portugal.
A rare example of mozarab architecture in Portugal, and one of the most important pre-Romanesque monuments found on portuguese territory (including the Peninsula.) In order to recover it’s primitive form, the church of S. Pedro de Lourosa, was object to in-depth studies and refurbishment works between the years of 1927 and 1947. Amongst the various refurbishment works, excavations and reconstructions, many appendices were demolished, (which had been added throughout the centuries), including two chapels and an old primary school classroom. The bell tower, posterior to the church, was moved from the front to the backend, to give greater visibility to the church.
The primitive narthex arch was revealed and amongst the important findings, a votive ara dedicated to Júpiter, informing the existence of an old roman temple, prior to the church, as well as an adorned altar with a typical asturian cross.
Overview of the horseshoe arches after the interventions of 1927, 1930 and 1947.
On the 14th of June of 1916, it was classified as a national monument, and was subject to significant restoration works in 1930, to restore its original primitive style (distorted through the centuries). This revealed archaeological remains, prior to the church (mainly during the roman period). It’s patron is the “chair of S. Pedro of Antioquia” (the only one existing in Portugal). Its probably, the only ancient church to ensure an uninterrupted period of 1110 years, of Christian devotion.
"chair of S. Pedro of Antioquia" - 15th century.
Prior to the construction of the church is a visigoth cemetery, with graves dug into the rock, where the church is based, which is considered “unique in the Mondego Region” by the DGEMN. After gaining new features, in the XX century, the S. Pedro de Lourosa church, has become a place of pilgrimage for national and foreign scholars and tourists.
In 2017, the excavations in the churchyard exposed more 35 graves, in addition to 12 that were already known outdoors. Currently 6 graves are visible in rocky outcrop, the remaining ones were covered with a stabilized floor, with its presence marked with granite slabs, in order to avoid deterioration.
Necropolis – graves dug into the rock.
A few years ago, it was incorporated in the “Rota da Moura Encantada.” (European pathways with Arabic presence.) and for the first time, in 2002, it was subject to a masters’ thesis and a PhDs’ thesis, both written by Paulo de Almeida Fernandes.
In 2012, it was submitted to its 1100 year jubilee celebrations. This has led to a variety of religious, cultural and artistic events, being the first mozarab trade fair, (street market), of its kind. It’s hosted seven editions already.
in Folheto Igreja Moçárabe de São Pedro de Lourosa: Monumento Nacional. Ed. Câmara Municipal de Oliveira do Hospital (2016)
- Latitude: 40.3177502
- Longitude: -7.9343613
- Morada: Largo Monumento Nacional, Lourosa