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Serra do Pilar Monastery

Serra do Pilar Monastery


Temporarily closed due to ongoing requalification works. 

Largo de Aviz
4430-329 Vila Nova Gaia  

When in the middle of the 16th century, by order of King João III, the monks of São Salvador de Grijó were transferred to the São Nicolau de Vila Nova mountain range, a new monastery was founded on this site in 1537, with the invocation of São Salvador do Mundo.

Inserted in the area classified in December 1996 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serra do Pilar Monastery is today considered one of the most remarkable buildings of European classical architecture due to its circular-shaped church and cloister.

In 1809 the monastery was occupied by Wellington's troops when the Portuguese army planned to attack the city of Porto, which was then occupied by Napoleon's troops.
During the Siege of Porto, in 1832, the monastery was transformed into an improvised fortress, which currently houses the Serra do Pilar Artillery Regiment.

During the 20th century, the monastery was the subject of various conservation and restoration projects, and the “North Heritage" exhibition is displayed here, in one of the most extraordinary viewpoints of the Douro River and the historic areas of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.


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