Mozarabe Church of St. Peter of Lourosa

(Originally published on September 13, 2013)

The Mozarabe Church of S. Pedro de Lourosa, built in the 10th century AD is one of few surviving buildings from the Early Middle Ages. Its has parallelism with the churches of S. Pedro de Balsemão in Lamego, São Gião in Nazaré and São Frutuoso de Montélios in Braga. The church was founded in 912 in accordance with to an inscription on the door lintel of the main entrance, a time when the Asturian reign still dominated the region. In its interior there’s a quite interesting baptistery consisting of an irregular circular base at floor level and an engraved channel to conduct the holy water; a time capsule that brings us to the beginnings of this Christian rite.

Many Roman materials were reuse in its construction probable taken from a previous Roman temple erected in the very same place based on the votive inscriptions found here (one Ara dedicated to a deity called Picio and another to Iupiter); at the church entrance there are some other Roman materials, namely an ara and a column base, and in the exterior wall around the yard there are some more reused Roman stones. The sanctuary was probable a stop point on the road linking the Roman city  of Bobadela (we still don’t know its name) and the gold rich Alva river where several mining explorations were identified. Departing from the church there’s still a well preserved section of the road in the direction of the village of Pombal, namely a stretch of the original pavement still intact. The name «Calçada Romana» is found afterwards going to Vila Pouca da Beira. Coordinates: 40.317455,  -7.931800

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