Capela da Memória Chapel, Nazaré

Visit the monumental Memoria Chapel, which construction founded the village of Nazaré.

Capela da Memoria, Nazaré, Portugal
Capela da Memória Chapel
© Câmara Municipal da Nazaré

The small Capela da Memoria Chapel is of great importance for the village of Nazaré, representing the foundation of this fishing village.

The chapel is built right in the edge of the enormous cliffs. According to the legend, it was D. Fuas Roupinho, major governor of Porto de Mós, a nearby village, who ordered to build it.

Azulejos da lenda de Nazaré, Capela da Memoria, Nazaré, Portugal
panels of blue and white tiles
© Câmara Municipal da Nazaré

The legend tells us Fuas Roupinho was hunting on Pederneira’s forest, by the end of 1182. All of a sudden, a deer, running away, appeared on his way heading towards the cliff. Fuas then followed him and suddenly realised he had no time to stop his horse of the way to the cliff, so he decided to commend himself to the Virgin. Right on the brink of the abyss his horse stopped and both of them, miraculously, saved their lives. Thus, to express his gratitude he promised to raise a chapel on the cliff, creating Nazaré.

The inside, as well as the facade of the four-sided chapel, is decorated with panels of blue and white tiles. Dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, draws referring to the legend can be seen on it. Next to it there is a monolith remembering the visit of Vasco da Gama, who prayed to get good luck for his dangerous trips.

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Largo Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, Nazaré, Portugal.

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