Jo’s Monday walk : seeking Sanctuary in Lamego

That’s what I call opening with a fanfare of angels. Somewhat battered ones as they’ve been around since the 18th century, when Nossa Senhora dos Remediós was constructed. Standing as it does on a hill overlooking Lamego, at the end of a wide avenue of chestnut trees, and reached by an elaborate azulejo-panelled staircase, I wasn’t sure if this stairway to heaven would disappoint. Modelled on spectacular Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga, I thought that it might be inferior. How very wrong I was.

It was a crisp, bright morning when we left our apartment in search of breakfast. Sunny cafe Maia on Largo de Camoes caught our eye and we settled in a corner to watch a flurry of deliveries arriving as Lamego woke up. The torrada is huge so one piece goes a long way, which is fortunate as we had a bit of a climb on our hands.

The motto translates ‘I’ll be whatever you give me that’s love’. Not a bad sentiment to start the day.

As the sign suggests, we were a long way from home, but seldom have I been happier than on that sunny morning. At peace with the world, and the world was certainly peaceful in Lamego. As yet, not a coach trip in sight as we mounted all 611 steps. Plenty of time to stop and stare at the beauty all around.

The thought of ascending on my knees, as the pilgrims do each year, did not occur to me. Starting on the last Thursday in August, the celebrations begin, continuing into mid-September. At 8am on 6th September an image of Our Lady is carried from her church to the Igreja das Chagas. There she stays, in adoration, for two days. On the 8th she is transported back, in a carriage pulled by bulls, and accompanied by children clothed all in white. I would love to see this, and the Battle of Flowers that ensues.

And then we were at the summit, surrounded by statuary and heady camellias, looking down upon the city.

Was it sacrilegious that the final blue panel reminded me of Titania and her fairy court? Certainly magic was at play.

And so to the church itself, with its unexpected Wedgewood blue ceiling, and soft azulejo panels. It was my husband who realised that there was an additional room, with gleaming Madonna.

Satisfied that we had seen all, I remembered that my Rough Guide recommended a stroll back down through Parque dos Remediós, a green and leafy space. A perfect foil to the Baroque extravagance of the church and its surrounds.

We emerged by a huge and beautiful cemetery, which overlooked the whole of the parish.

I know I’ve made this post something of a cliffhanger, but I hope you’ll feel as I do. I was prepared for Bom Jesus do Monte to be stunning, but I had no idea that the Sanctuary at Lamego would be every bit as beautiful and more. I’ll finish in traditional style, with something sweet.

I’m on the last lap of my journey now, but there’s still a surprise or two in store. Join me next time?

But first, a few walks :

……………………………………………………………………………………

This is a fine place to start. Thanks, Drake!

Middle of nowhere

Wise words from Rupali :

Prefer learning through observation than judging

Teresa visits some wonderful places!

Sightseeing in Vienna

Sarah makes a habit of going to beautiful places too :

A walk along the Corniche in Muttrah

And Alegria makes beautiful videos of the places she visits :

The Carter House, Port Colborne, and Anne of Ingleside

While Carol hunts down some great street art :

Street Art in Townsville

Terri is simply tickled pink!

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge : Tickled #Pink

Have a great week! It’s Santo António’s day here today. I’m sure I can find a procession.

78 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : seeking Sanctuary in Lamego

  1. Pingback: A grey Castelo Branco | Still Restlessjo

  2. Jo, what a stunning place!!
    I have visited Bom Jesus do Monte em Braga, but this one is just as spectacular. I am so glad you managed to see it before the tour buses arrived. I always like to get to this kind of place nice and early before all the other tourists arrive, so you can really contemplate it all in peace. Parque dos Remedios was also lovely.

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    • In many ways this was the highlight of our tour, Gilda, but then when I look back there were so many! I just reread your last post on Brazil and remembered how many wonderful experiences you had. And since then you’ve had many more in Greece. I look forward to those.

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  3. Love the tiles, as usual with your posts, they are superb, and although I would love to see the interior of that place I now I could never face the 611 steps to the top. My, you are fit – and I mean fit in the way we used to use it! You certainly deserved the profiteroles when you got back down and I hope they were as good as they looked.

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    • Hello, bonny lass! Any better today? I’ve played croquet, had a very nice lunch with wine and pud for 8 euros and am just contemplating a bit of housework to spoil the day. So glad to have you here. Sending hugs 🤗🤗

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  6. Well Jo – I thought I’d seen the best of your walks but this one is “beyond the pale” as they say! (and BTW I never understood why but here in the US the phrase means something spectacular, which you post most certainly is!). I see I’m late to the party but am so glad I didn’t miss this one. Incredible!!

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    • Not the least bit pale, is it, Tina? 🤣💙 So glad you caught it before I move on. It is without doubt one of the loveliest sights I’ve ever seen. And I seem to have seen a few since I came to Portugal. Definitely one to go on your list. Thanks and have a happy Sunday 🤗💗

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  8. Wow you had public art in every picture. I notice that the fountains weren’t turned on either. Is that because of water shortage, or automatic timers, or something else? So much Roman and Biblical influence here. The entire walk was breath-taking. Thanks for sharing. The ice cream looked delicious, too. 🙂

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    • I did think of you the other day, Marsha, but I made a decision when I moved to Still Restless not to join challenges. I don’t have time or energy to visit all the participants. People are always welcome here and I will return the visit with pleasure, but the challenges claimed too large a share of my life. Regretfully!
      I don’t think water shortage would be a factor in the north so early in the year. Probably they had been drained for maintenance. And you know you can walk with me any time at all. You are delightful company.

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      • You are the sweetest. I totally get not doing the challenges. It takes a lot of time, which is why I am not as regular as I would like to be. Your posts are always so lovely to look at, and I always read them with a big smile on my face! I appreciate that you visit me and I love visiting you. So on we travel together. 🙂

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  9. Fantastic pearls like on a long amazing string trying to outdo each other – excellent, dear Jo. 🙂

    If you are in an unknown area, cemeteries are one of the best places to look for an area’s historical background – there are so many stories hidden, moreover, it is also often an area’s most peaceful area. (my “supplementary grandfather” who participated in WW-One said “If there are problems then it is always due to the living ones” – he himself was a very peaceful man). 🙂

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  11. Such a beautiful walk Jo! Isn’t it lovely when you can take your time to enjoy the beauty of the place. This was spectacular. Really beautiful photos. And such a joy to continue into that green garden. As you said, the perfect foil for the busyness of baroque. Thanks for taking us along. Now if we could only taste that sweet treat. 😆

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  12. You had some lovely views to start the morning. Once again, I find the azulejos just so beautiful – I wish I had taken more photos of these while we were in Portugal! I sort of feel content after reading your post and seeing all of your stunning pictures – thank you that you shared this lovely walk.

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  13. It’s lovely to think of you being perfectly content here. I trust the stair climbing people had padding on their knees, although would that defeat the purpose? I always like seeing Greater celandine. It is a demure plant, and always a surprise.

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    • If we ever go back in September I’ll give you a full report, Susan, but it’s unlikely. Neither of us like crowds. An enduring memory was Festa dos Tabuleiros in Tomar, 10 years ago. It’s on the old blog or I can send you a link. Unforgettable but not to be repeated 🤗💗

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  15. Another great walk, Jo. The tile work is amazing, worth going for that alone. But there’s so much more to see too. You certainly have a good tour going here.

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  16. That staircase is gorgeous with the bright blue tiles at the landings and its tall pillars on the hand rails. Glad you made it to the top to show us the pretty fountain and church. Maggie

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  17. It is always my preference to find those tranquil & beautiful spots where coaches have yet to discover. Lamego looks like an absolute treasure Jo & one that I hope maintains its tranquility!

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    • I think that in the summer it will become quite busy normally, Lynn, but places are still recovering from the aftermath of Covid. It is the most beautiful part of the world but I do agree. I’m happy not to share it with too many 🤗💗

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  18. I’ve been to Portugal many times but never heard about Lamego. I am in awe of its magnificent baroque stairway that climbs the steep Santo Estevao hill to the beautiful Nossa Senhora dos Remedios church! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  19. Wow, Jo, these vistas are beyond amazing. I always hop into my Google maps to see where you are in Portugal. I never get tired (although you might get tired of hearing it) of seeing how much these areas remind me of San Diego. Those puffy clouds in the blue sky remind me of spring days spent there. To be able to walk among those gorgeous blue tiles and their stories must be both peaceful and thrilling, especially knowing when they were first built. Like looking at blue willow dishes everywhere 🙂 Thanks for including my post and off to read others. Fabulous walk!

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  21. tiles, church, park, cemetery, cake and flowers. Some of my favourite things, thanks Jo! That cemetery looks a cracker, I can see my self wandering about in there a bit. I’d be saying things like, ‘ ooh, they got a ripe old age’ or, ‘ aw, that’s no age at all’ and when I find a nice floral tribute , ‘ hope you’ll bring me flowers like that when I’m gone’

    Poor Mr THL, he has a lot to put up with in me!

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