The Monastery of Santa Maria das Júnias is located at the bottom of a valley, two kilometers south of the village Pitões das Júnias, in the province of Trás-os-Montes. It belongs to the district of Vila Real, municipality of Montalegre, in the eastern zone of the Peneda-Gerês National Park.
Although it can be seen from above, next to the place where the car is parked, the access can only be made on foot, on a rather irregular stone slab path, which leads us to the Serra da Mourela valley.
Already at the bottom of the valley, the Monastery of Santa Maria das Júnias, which some scholars say is dated 1147, is in ruins. Of the whole, the church is the only one that seems to be preserved. Around it you can still find ruins of the cloister arches and other small buildings surrounded by vegetation.
This monastery was intended to house Benedictine friars and was handed over to the Cistercian Order during the 12th century. It was abandoned in 1834, after the extinction of the religious orders in Portugal, and a fire broke out in the place a few years later.
Today, on August 15, we still see the pilgrimage of the inhabitants of Pitões das Júnias and the surrounding towns.
Some signs warn of possible accidents since the whole area seems abandoned, but worth the visit.
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