Miramar Beach and Capela do Senhor da Pedra | Portugal

Porto: Miramar Beach and Capela do Senhor da Pedra in County of Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.

I tried to translate the name of this hexagonal church situated on the coast of the Atlantic and its result – “The Chapel of the Lord of the Stone”, I’m not sure is quite right. Nevertheless, this translation seemed somewhat adequate for the old baroque, that is the small church nested on the rock at the Miramar Beach near Porto.

We visited this beach and chapel with friends one sunny winter Sunday (typical weather in Portugal). The tide was low, so we could walk around the “Capela” without even soaking our shoes. We were very lucky this day because when the tide was high, the small church would be surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean waves and so it can be very difficult to enter. I have never heard of such a church and not just because it was surrounded by water, but also because it had a “mystic” aura around it.

On the surrounding beach, we saw many spots with many remains of candle wax. Our friends explained to us that they were from the ‘witches’, who made their spells there. Later, I read that the cult of the “Lord of the Stone” originated from an ancient pagan cult, which later converted to Christianity and its association with this location.

The church itself bears no obvious signs of this pagan cult of nature. It was built in 1686 in a baroque, rococo style. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t visit it on that day, but we still had some time to wander around. Whilst trying to capture a photo of it from a more accurate angle, I heard horses approaching. I knew it would be the perfect foreground to depict the atmosphere of this place – a little mystique, pristine and of course, romantic.

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