Camino de Santiago – Religious Points of Interest in Viana do Castelo
The Camino de Santiago is one of the best-known pilgrimage routes in the world and one of the favorite itineraries for religious tourism.
Every year, more than 350,000 people take this route that passes through emblematic places in Europe.
One of these places is Viana do Castelo and in this beautiful city there are some religious points of interest.
Throughout this article, we will provide details on each of these points.
But first, let’s talk a little about the famous Camino de Santiago.
This is a path that takes people to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, where the remains of Saint James the Great, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, are located.
However, the tomb was discovered by accident. In the ninth century, a peasant accidentally found the tomb.
Later, the Catholic Church recognized the discovered area as a pilgrimage center and, since then, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has become one of the main religious sights in Europe.
There are several routes to get there, depending on where the pilgrim starts his journey.
There are specific routes for those departing from France, Spain and Portugal.
To know the entire portuguese route, the Vaga Mundos website has prepared a complete guide that you can consult.
And it is on the Portuguese route that Viana do Castelo is included.
In addition to being part of the itinerary, the Minho city has several places of religious worship that can be found along the route and that are a mandatory stop for any pilgrim.
Many people who take the Portuguese route even stay a few days in Viana do Castelo, before continuing their journey, to be able to visit everything and, of course, rest.
If you too are planning to do the Portuguese Way, stay a day or two in Viana do Castelo and get to know each of the religious points of the city that are included in the route.
- Castelo do Neiva Church
- S. Tiago da Anha Church
- Hospital Velho
- Recolhimento de Santiago
- S. João de Cabanas Convent
- S. Romão Monastery
- Chafé Church
Continue reading the article and discover all the details about each of the locations.
And discover our Special Package “Camino”, an exclusive offer for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.
Castelo do Neiva Church
Outside Spanish territory, this is the oldest temple dedicated to St James the Great.
Shortly after the discovery of the apostle’s tomb, Bishop Nausto consecrated the Castelo do Neiva Church in 862.
In this temple, it is possible to see several representations of the deeds of the apostle St James the Great, where the representation of the battle of Clavijo stands out.
Legend has it that this battle took place in 844 and pitted Christians against Muslims. Christians were outnumbered and Santiago descended from heaven riding a white horse to help Christians win the battle.
This moment is one of the main ones that we can find represented in the Castelo do Neiva Church.
In addition to the representations of the apostle, this temple also has a beautiful view to offer to those who visit it. It is possible to see the whole sea and the mountains close to Viana do Castelo.
This provides a relaxing moment that helps renew energy to continue the Portuguese Way.
If you are interested in visiting, the church is located on Rua de Santiago, in the parish of Castelo do Neiva, which belongs to the municipality of Viana do Castelo.
S. Tiago da Anha Church
Another religious tourist spot in Viana do Castelo is the S. Tiago da Anha Church.
It is located in Largo da Matriz, in the small village of Vila Nova de Anha, and is yet another tribute from Minho paid to the apostle St James the Great.
The Roman Catholic Church features Baroque-style architecture and was built in the late 18th century.
Despite having been recently renovated, the original carving has been maintained.
According to online reports from pilgrims who visited the S. Tiago da Anha Church, it is very well preserved and is well worth a visit to contemplate its unique beauty.
Hospital Velho is a landmark in the city of Viana do Castelo for all pilgrims who make the Camino de Santiago.
This building was built in the 15th century by João Paes to provide assistance and shelter to pilgrims who made the Portuguese Way, so that they could rest before continuing their journey.
Since then, Hospital Velho has always been part of the itinerary of pilgrims who pass through Viana do Castelo and is, even today, a symbol of the medieval and modern assistance provided to them.
Although its facilities are currently a tourist information office, many pilgrims still include this place on their route.
This happens because many religious elements are still present in the structure of the building.
For example, its facade highlights the image of the risen Christ in a niche and a heraldic shield on the front door.
Elements that deserved to be seen in detail and admired up close.
Therefore, if you are going to do the Portuguese Way, this is, without a doubt, a tourist-religious point to visit in Viana do Castelo.
Recolhimento de Santiago
Another temple in Viana do Castelo dedicated to the apostle St James the Great.
It was built by the Casa da Misericórdia, which, in exchange for a weekly income, housed noble women.
It exists since the 17th century and assumes a Baroque structure.
It is yet another space that is much cherished by pilgrims on the Portuguese Way due to the representations of St James the Great that are inside the Recolhimento.
S. João de Cabanas Convent
S. João de Cabanas Convent is another mandatory stop for all pilgrims on the Portuguese route of the Camino de Santiago.
Despite being abandoned, it is possible to see the outside and contemplate the beauty of this convent.
And since the Portuguese route passes through the convent, why not stop for a while to appreciate one more religious and historical element of our country?
The Convent, located in the parish of Afife, has been part of the municipality of Viana do Castelo since it was built in 570 by S. Martinho de Dume.
It has always been a male convent and, in 1382, it passed to the Order of São Bento, becoming a house for the recovery and rest of the sick.
In the 17th century, a profound overhaul of the convent was carried out, which has since maintained the same structure to this day.
The current structure has a Mannerist style, especially highlighted by its sober lines and its single nave longitudinal plan.
This structure fascinates all pilgrims who make the Portuguese Coastal Path and pass near the Convent of S. João de Cabanas.
S. Romão Monastery
Located in the parish of São Romão de Neiva, in the municipality of Viana do Castelo, the S. Romão Monastery could be the twin brother of the S. João de Cabanas Convent.
Its architectural and historical features are very similar to the convent shown above.
Like S. João de Cabanas, S. Romão Monastery has a Mannerist style, was a male monastery and belonged to the Order of São Bento.
It was founded in the 11th century and over the years it has been managed by various entities.
First, it was in the possession of commendatory abbots until 1566, later being integrated into the reform of the Congregation of São Bento de Portugal by Friar Bartolomeu dos Mártires.
In 1917, the monastery was acquired by Manuel Gomes da Costa Castanho until, later, it came to be administered by the diocese of Viana do Castelo.
It is currently in private ownership.
However, many characteristics that predominate in the S. Romão Monastery since its origin are still visible. Like, for example, the first cloisters dating back to the Middle Ages and some that are identical to those of the monastery of Tibães.
In front of the monastery, there is also a staircase with paintings representing the Via Sacra in tiles and at the top it is also possible to visit the Senhora do Crasto Chapel.
Therefore, there are several reasons to take a short break during your pilgrimage and visit S. Romão Monastery during your route along the Camino de Santiago.
Lovers of the Baroque style must visit the Chafé Church.
It is a religious temple with a strong presence of the Baroque style in its architecture and structure.
It was built as a way of honoring St. Sebastian, a Christian saint who died during the persecution carried out by the Roman emperor Diocletian.
It is, therefore, another temple to add to your list of places to visit during your walk along the Portuguese route.
On the other hand, if you have more time available and want to visit other religious temples that are not included in the Portuguese route of the Camino de Santiago, we have prepared a list for you of the most relevant Churches in Viana do Castelo.
Take the opportunity to spend a few days in the Minho city, discover all the religious places in Viana and rest for a few days before continuing your pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
At the AP Dona Aninhas hotel you will find the best conditions to recharge your batteries.
From the SPA with massages and specific treatments for pilgrims to our rooms, you have everything you need to guarantee your comfort with the highest quality.
Special Package “Camino de Santiago”
The AP Dona Aninhas Hotel is located in the center of Viana do Castelo and offers a special package for pilgrims traveling the Camino de Santiago.
The “Camino” package is available from May to December, starting at €75 per person, and includes:
- Accommodation with Breakfast included
- Tapas & Wines from Quinta de São Sebastião
- Access to the Wellness Area, including an indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and Turkish bath
- 25-minute relaxation leg massage
- Early Check-in and Late Check-out subject to availability
At the hotel reception, you can also request the pilgrim’s stamp on your passport since AP Dona Aninhas has been recognized with the “Jacobeian Hospitality” seal awarded by the Portuguese Federation of the Camino de Santiago.
This distinction aims to value the services supporting pilgrims.
Book your stay at AP Dona Aninhas now and enjoy the best comfort conditions during your break in Viana do Castelo.
Learn about all the general conditions of “Camino” Package, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team at +351 289 540 100 (Call to the National Landline Network) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.