This week our tip is the Serra do Pilar Monastery. Although this beautiful monument is always noticed by the tourists – its location makes it really easy to see – not everyone makes a visit to it. And you totally should! Let me tell you why…
Located on the top of the Serra do Pilar (“Pilar Hill”), this monastery was meant to be the new home of the Augustinians Frey’s and its construction began in 1538, but it was only finished in 1670. During the Civil War, Porto suffered a siege by the Absolutists between 1832 and 1833. At that time the Pilar Hill was an important viewpoint and the Liberal troops settled in the monastery. At the end of the war, the place was in ruins and it took some time to finish its restoration.
Nowadays a part of the monastery is used by the army and, in 2012, it was inaugurated there a space dedicated to touristic information, where you can find everything related to four UNESCO classified regions: Porto and Guimarães historical centers, Douro Vinhateiro (the Douro winery region) and the Archaeological Park of Côa. The Church has a circular form and a beautiful cloister with 36 Ionian columns. You can visit the Monastery and even go all the way up to its pinnacle! From its big outside terrace you have a great view of the city, making this place a must-go to photography lovers!
Check other suggestions of places you should visit. And you can see this and many more great places in Porto with us! Book a tour to see everything that the city has to offer ;) And if you have a thing for churchers, we have a special Churches Tour made just for you!
To get there, just take the subway to Jardim do Morro station.
Address: Largo de Aviz, Vila Nova de Gaia.
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays. [November – March: 10am to 5:30pm | April – October: 10am to 6:30pm]
Price: 1€. If the visit includes the pinnacle, it costs 3€.