Na vila de Miramar, in Gulpilhares, Vila Nova de Gaia, we can find a small chapel, built on top of a rock and turned from the coast to the sea. A surround da praia e do mar does not strip or highlight this beautiful capela, dedicated to Senhor da Pedra. Place of worship for more than two thousand years, a chapel was built for three centuries, having resisted storms and storms since then, despite its apparent fragility.
Originally, the giant stone was a place of pagan worship, possibly Celtic. When they chegou or Christianity to Portugal, fizeram-sefforços to Christianize the territory. The place where Capela do Senhor da Pedra is found was one of two chosen for this conversion, however it is still linked to pagan cult ceremonies that take place on nights of lua cheia.
No ambito cristão, it is celebrated annually to romaria que comemora or Senhor da Pedra. As celebrations start on Sunday of the Holy Trinity and proceed to the next third-fair. The festivities include a procession, the traditional rusgas (dances) and the animation of various popular groups.
Formerly, it was a tradition for pilgrims to go to manhã cedo a capela, on foot, gathering all the pilgrims along the way. As mulheres levavam à cabeça a “condessa”, where she was or farnel, and the men levavam o vinho à cabeça ou en chifres de boi. Após cumprirem as his promises, faziam um piquenique, with direct dance and song.
The importance of this pilgrimage is testified by the existence of a number of kilometers of pilgrimage songs that are dedicated to it. Prove as well that long pilgrims came to Senhor da Pedra, existing songs that are dedicated to them in places like Cinfães e Paredes.
A Capela do Senhor da Pedra also gives the name of the beach where it is located. It is one of the busiest beaches in Vila Nova de Gaia and it is not by chance: its infrastructures are very good and of quality, offering bathers the possibility of spending a day of bathing in excellent conditions. When it starts or because of the sun, the beach becomes magical, with its own lights from this height of the day reflecting on Capela do Senhor da Pedra.
De noite, a cappella and illuminated. And they say that witchcraft rituals are performed here. We do not know if it is true or false, more or less certain that the environment will be able to invite isso itself: a mixture of natural beauty, sacred beauty and mysticism. A Capela do Senhora da Pedra is, without a doubt, a very special place.
There are also two favorite locations for photography lovers. Turning from the coast to the sea, which at times can be more agitated, Capela do Senhor da Pedra provides a unique opportunity to get photographs worthy of illustrated postcards. In não é à toa: this is one of the two most easily recognizable and famous monuments in the North of Portugal.
Legends associated with Capela do Senhor da Pedra
Despite its origin paid, or little criou legends and stories to explain the construction of the chapel and highlight the importance of the rock that supports it. For some, a cappella was built as payment for a promise, made by someone who survived a shipwreck or being swept away by a tidal wave. For others, in the image of Christ there was to stop, traced by the sea, and that there was no place where later it would be built a cappella.
It is said that, when the inhabitants of Gulpilhares were preparing to build a hermitage in Senhor da Pedra, not a land known as an arraial, a mysterious light appeared over the rocks, next to the sea. A light had to appear every night, or that the inhabitants took to acharem that it was a divine sign. Likewise, we will desist from the construction of the non-arraial hermitage and will build a non-local chapel where it used to appear in a mysterious light.
There is a legend associated with D. Sebastião, who will have, in a new manhã, craved the legs of his cavalo num dos rochedos, tended or returned to return without entering the Portuguese beaches. A lenda was created to justify two rounded and parallel marks that were supposedly found there.
Rich in legends, a cappella of Senhor da Pedra is also worth visiting for its cinematographic landscapes and for the peculiarity of its construction, not the top of a rock whipped by the sea. In the end, it is not by chance that this was considered the tenth most beautiful beach in Europe by the “European Best Destinations”.