Santa Maria das Júnias Monastery

by Nuno Madeira
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Mosteiro Santa Maria das Júnias (Santa Maria das Júnias Monastery) is located at the bottom of a valley, two kilometers south of the Pitões das Júnias village, in the province of Trás-os-Montes. It belongs to the district of Vila Real, Montalegre municipality, in the East zone of the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Although it can be seen from above, near the place where the car is parked, the access can only be done on foot, on a rather irregular route of stone slabs, which leads us to the valley of the Serra da Mourela.

Once reached the bottom of the valley, the Santa Maria das Júnias Monastery, which some scholars say is dated 1147, is in ruins. Of all the set, the church is the only one that seems conserved. Around it, you can still find ruins of the arches of the cloister and other small buildings surrounded by vegetation.

This Monastery was destined to house Benedictine friars, having been delivered, during century XII, to the Order of Cister. It was abandoned in the year 1834, after the extinction of the religious orders in Portugal, having set off a fire in the place some years later.

Nowadays, on August 15, there is still a pilgrimage of the inhabitants of Pitões das Júnias and neighboring villages.


Some signs warn of possible accidents since the whole area looks abandoned but well worth the visit.

This post was translated with the help of Google Translator.

Peneda Gerês: Monastery of Santa Maria das Júnias

Google Maps Coordinates: 41.83111, -7.94254 | abrir Google Maps
GPS Coordinates: 41° 49′ 51.996″ N 7° 56′ 33.144″ W

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