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Igreja das Almas



The Church of “S. Salvador das Almas” was the first Main Church of Viana do Castelo. It was, up to this date, a small isolated chapel, Romanesque style, with a porch of guard near Lima river, being its churchyard cemetery the first of Viana do Castelo. The title of “matriz” was lost in 1483, when the present cathedral was built, but the cemetery remained in its churchyard until 1840, date when the Municipal Cemetery was constructed.

The church fell, however, in ruins between the years of 1702 and 1719, having been rebuilt and added to the west. An architectural profile that continues today. Over the years, it has gradually lost its seals, pinnacles and slabs of graves, having been submitted to the first archaeological intervention in 1953.

In 2008, archaeological excavations were carried out inside the church which, not only enabled new discoveries, but also made it possible to conclude that the church is even older, going back to the 9th century.

Given the findings, the City Council and the parish decided to turn the space of worship into a museum, which was also the target of restoration. The same procedure was done with its churchyard, where the Autarchy put a milestone of the 750 years of history of Viana do Castelo, the city's motto of the 21st century.