Church of São João Baptista (Cimo de Vila da Castanheira)

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Church of São João Baptista (Igreja de São João Baptista)
Parochial Church of
Cimo de Vila da Castanheira
Church (Igreja)
Official name: Igreja Paroquial de Cimo de Vila de Castanheira/Igreja de São João Baptista
Named for: St. John the Baptist
Country  Portugal
Region Norte
Subregion Alto Trás-os-Montes
District Vila Real
Municipality Chaves
Location Cimo de Vila da Castenheira
 - coordinates 41°47′55.3″N 7°16′5.2″W / 41.798694°N 7.268111°W / 41.798694; -7.268111Coordinates: 41°47′55.3″N 7°16′5.2″W / 41.798694°N 7.268111°W / 41.798694; -7.268111
Materials Granite, Wood, Tile
Origin 14th century
Owner Portuguese Republic
For public Public
Easiest access Estrada Municipal between Dadim and Cimo de Vila da Castanheira, approximately 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from Cimo, deviating 100 metres (330 ft) along a lane
Management Instituto Gestão do Patrimonio Arquitectónico e Arqueológico
Operator Roman Catholic Diocese of Vila Real
Status National Monument
Monumento Nacional
Listing Decree 45/93, Diário da República, Série-1B, 280 (30 November 1993)
Wikimedia Commons: Igreja de São João Baptista (Cimo de Vila da Castanheira)

The Church of São João Baptista (Portuguese: Igreja Paroquial de Cimo de Vila de Castanheira/Igreja de São João Baptista) is a church in the civil parish of Cimo de Vila da Castenheira, in the municipality of Chaves, in the Portuguese Norte district of Vila Real.


The church was probably constructed between the 13th and 14th century.[1]

By 1758, the curia of Castanheira were presented by the rector of Sanfins, annexed to the brotherhood of the Company of Christ, in the Colegio od Coimbra, supported by 60$000 in land rents.[1] On 4 July 1774, D. José incorporated all the possessions of the extinct Company of Christ into the property of the University of Coimbra, which assumed its administration.[1]

On 5 May 1835, a decree incorporated the church into the Bens Próprios Nacionais (national assets) of the University, but continued to operate independently with the same land rents.[1] But, by 21 November 1848, there was a new law passed to delimit what which possessions the University required function in Coimbra.[1]

In 1984, there was a collapse of the nave's ceiling and lateral cornices; the masonry was damaged and various decorative elements were destroyed.[1]


The church is located in a rural, isolated area, implanted in a mountainous zone, alongside the cemetery (which is located to the rear).[1]

The church is planted longitudinally, composed by two volumes: a rectangular nave and secondary section with sacristy addorsed to the northern wall.[1] The main facade is oriented to the west, featuring a portal with perfect arch, composed of high chamfered staves over a smooth base and surmounted by small central oculus.[1] Over the portal are three protrusions that mark the disappeared awning that use to exist, while over the frontispiece is a stone cross.[1] On the southern facade along the nave wall has a chamfered Romanesque door and rectangular window. The eastern facade has a rectangular window along the sacristy.[1] Along with a simple cornice, the north facade conserves sculpted representations of humans and animals.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Sereno, Isabel; Teixeira, Ricardo (1994), SIPA, ed., Igreja Paroquial de Cimo de Vila de Castanheira / Igreja de São João Baptista (IPA.00003661/PT011703090017) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico, retrieved 21 November 2016 


  • Gonçalves, Catarina Valença (1 March 2001), A Pintura Mural em Portugal: os casos da Igreja de Santiago de Belmonte e da Capela do Espírito Santo de Maçainhas, [dissertação de Mestrado na Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa] (in Portuguese), 2, Lisbon, Portugal