The classification of the church of Santa Maria Madalena, in the parish of Chaviães, located in the Union of Parishes of Chaviães and Paços, was initiated in May 2018 and proposed to the Secretary of State for Culture in June 2022.
According to the ordinance signed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Isabel Alexandra Rodrigues Cordeiro, published today in DR and consulted by the Lusa agency, "the classification of the church of Santa Maria Madalena reflects the criteria contained in article 17 of Law no. 107/2001, of September 8, relating to the matrix character of the good, to its interest as a symbolic or religious witness, to its aesthetic, technical or intrinsic material value, to its architectural design and its extension and to what is reflected in it from the point of view of collective memory".
The "first references to the parish church of Chaviães date back to the mid-thirteenth century, attesting to a medieval foundation for the property."
"From the beginnings of the construction date several architectural and sculptural elements, such as the main entrance, with a perfect arch around it, as well as the side facades," the ordinance highlights.
The "simple structure has undergone several constructive and decorative campaigns over the centuries, distinguishing, above all, the interventions of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries".
Those campaigns "resulted in at least three layers of mural painting superimposed on the chancel, triumphal arch and adjacent walls of the nave, distinguishing the transition program for the modern era, developed in several registers framed by decorative bars, whose execution and theme are inscribed in a dynamic of regional commission attributable to various hands and workshops. It also deserves a mention of the Baroque intervention, namely the installation of the carved altarpiece of the chancel and the construction of the bell tower attached to the main façade of the temple".
"The Church of Santa Maria Madalena de Chaviães is distinguished, in this way, by the conservation of its original spatiality, by the combination between the Romanesque, sixteenth-century and baroque elements, and by its condition of exemplary of the Romanesque of the Alto Minho, with models in temples such as those of Paderne or Orada, also illustrating the traditional route of the buildings of medieval foundation over the centuries", refers to the document published today in DR.
In administrative terms, the church was part, in 1839, of the district of Monção and, in 1878, of the district and judge of Melgaço. It belongs to the Diocese of Viana do Castelo since November 03, 1977.
According to information on the website of the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage, it is described as a "parish church built in medieval times which preserves sixteenth-century mural paintings and has a Baroque altarpiece."
The "various themes or panels represented are framed by defining decorative bars, carried out freehand and of fairly simple design and conception".
Medieval church classified as a monument of public interest
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