Religious heritage, Land of Culture

Ancede Church

The Great Church of Ancede, was obviously the church of the monastery of Saint Andrew of Ancede built in the beginning of the 12th Century, as the first known documented reference is from 1120.

Little is known about the original medieval church, though some artefacts from the Middle Ages can be seen on the walls, especially on the south façade of the church and the shell, where the current sacristy is located. Another highlight is the rose window with a thick torus on the outside, bordered by two small plinths and one pearled rim from the 13th Century (Barroca, 1984). It is not clear yet, whether the current location of the rose window – on the back wall of the main chapel – matched that of its original location. It is also known that the monastery suffered a large fire in mid-14th Century, destroying some of its outbuildings.

It is also known that before the 16th Century there were two small churches, one for the canons and the other for the local residents. The church of the Parish was made up of two aisles, which suggests a smaller size when compared to the current one. Its location and whether it was physically separated from the church of the canons is not known.

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This description is made in a document dated 1746, which also refers to renovation works, concluded in 1689, encompassing the construction of a new building with three aisles with three decorated chapels and one chancel, which matches the current look of the church of Ancede.

The same document also refers to the current sacristy as being the chapter house “during the time of the canons” (ADP).

The trading relationship of this Monastery of Ancede with the region of Flanders is known, namely the export of wine by two high-sided ships during the 15th Century.

It is therefore not a surprise that today we have several paintings from Flemish artists, notably the beautiful triptych of St Bartholomew. This triptych is dated 1530 and credited to Joos van Cleve (1485-1540), a Flemish painter, known as one of the first Flemish painters to use broad landscapes as the background in his paintings, which was to become a popular technique during Renaissance painting in Northern Europe. In the case of this triptych, Antwerp is depicted with the river Scheldt and the estuary of the port, where merchandise from all over the work were offloaded, including the wine produced in Couto de Ancede (Lorena, 2016).

It is also worth visiting some sculptures kept in the Church as well as the Gothic parochial cross and the holly head, which healed the people and cattle suffering from rabies.


Barroca, Mario Jorge (1984). Notes on medieval occupation in Baião, Archeology, 10.
Guide. Route of the Romanesque.
Lorena, Mercês. (2016). Triptych of the Master of Ancede. In. Joel Ferreira Mata, Baião: Around the year 1500.

Tip: Click on the pictures to enlarge.

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