Igreja de Santa Maria de Marco de Canaveses
A jewel of twentieth-century religious architecture.
With its simple and uncluttered appearance, this Marian church is considered a remarkable example of twentieth-century religious architecture, guided by principles of spatial purity and geometric abstraction. The project was commissioned by the diocese in 1990 to the award-winning contemporary Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira, who developed it in collaboration with Rolando Torgo. Construction took place between 1994 and 1997, on a very steep escarpment, and over two levels: the upper floor comprises the assembly and the lower floor the mortuary chapel.
The building was inaugurated in 1996 and is notable for the sober lines of its walls, devoid of decoration, and its panoramic elements, such as the double ten-foot steel door or the low and long window to the right of the nave. To reach the building, which is deployed on a platform, visitors can use a ramp on the eastern side or three staircases on the west side. Inside, with also a barren appearance and dominated by the purity of the colour white, the way natural light has been used and the sound of water flowing in the granite baptismal font is worthy of admiration.
In addition to the church, the parish complex includes the residence of the parish priest and the Sunday school that flank the courtyard, creating a small urban square.
In the same village, Marco de Canaveses, visitors can also find several interesting attractions, such as the Roman city of Tongóbriga, the Museum of the Infant Jesus or the Municipal Carmen Miranda Museum, which honours the famous singer born in this locale.
4630-206 Marco de Canaveses
Monday to Friday: 9 am.-12 pm. / 2.30 pm./7 pm.;
Saturdays: 9 am.-12 pm. / 2.30 pm.-5.00 pm.;
Sundays: 3 pm.-6 pm.;
group visits subject to prior appointment