Monastery of Serra do Pilar has opened to the public

Mosteiro Seera do Pilar By Maria Cartas and TPNP/ DRCN 
 Monastery of Serra do Pilar, in Gaia,World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO since 1996, and definitely the belvedere with the most spectacular panoramic view over Porto, has opened to the public on 8 December as “House of the Northern Patrimony”.

The entrance is done by a lateral door giving access to the welcome desk, to the shop and to the interactive digital table presenting information on Porto and North of Portugal. Then one gets inside the next room in which can be seen a film about the four places classified as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, on the North of Portugal - the historical centres of Porto and Guimarães, the landscape of the Douro Valley and the Archeological Park of the Côa Valley.

It is time now to visit the rare circular cloister, the only one of its kind in the country.

Here one may see the statue of D. Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king, by the sculptor Soares dos Reis, made of plaster which was the cast for the statue existing next to the Castle of Guimarães.

Visitors may also enjoy a guided visit by an element of the army, that owns the largest part of the space. On these guided tours, taking place every hour, it will be possible to climb to the dome. By security reasons, access will only be allowed to groups of 15 persons at a time. It is necessary to climb 100 steps until the 360.º balcony that surrounds the church, being the last 53 steps done on spiral staircase.

The space “Northern Patrimony” is opened from Tuesday to Sunday, from 09:30 to 17:30. From March on it is expected to open from 09:00 to 18:30 and on July and August, from 09:00 to 19:00. The space will close on Mondays, and on 25 December, 1st January, 1st May and Easter Sunday.

Admission fees:
- 1, 00€ - visit to the “Patrimony Room” and to the Cloister
- 3, 00€ - visit to the “Patrimony Room”, to the Cloister and to the dome
- Free – for Youth Card holders, senior citizens (over 65 years old) and children up to 12 years old.

The “Northern Patrimony House” installations and the opening to the public of the Monastery of Senhora do Pilar are the result of a protocol between the Direção Regional de Cultura do Norte and the Portuguese Army.


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