Near the historical centre of Guimarães, set on a hill overlooking the city, we find the majestic Pousada de Guimarães - Santa Marinha, the XII Century Augustine Monastery, which after being rebuilt and restored, received the National Architectural Prize in 1985. Penha Park, the gardens and the interior corners with granite fountains, the rich Portuguese glazed tiles, the cloisters, the balconies and terraces over the city will, together with the magnificent cuisine and wines, make you wish to stay for a very long time.
Roughly 1 km from the city center of Guimarães, the Pousada de Santa Marinha, proud and majestic, a relic of a former Monastery, is located on an hillside overlooking the dazzling valley and the city.
This temple devoted to Christianity, probably dates back to the beginning of the Christian Re conquest (end of the IX century). The circumstances of the original occupation, of the Monastery, are still unknown. Some elements from the late-roman have been identified. It is also known that an invasion of Guimarães by "pagans", between the year 959 and 968, brought some important repairs and fortifications work; hence, it might have been served as a fortress during the disturbed times of Almansor campaigns.
According to an old tradition, the Monastery was donated by D. Mafalda (wife of D. Afonso Henriques - first king of Portugal) to the canons of Saint Augustin order (1154). Its function was related to a vow made by D. Mafalda in honour to the virgin and martyr Santa Marinha, saint advocate of parturient women. In the Museum Alberto Sampaio, there is an image of Santa Marinha, a French sculpture, most probably a twin-copy of Saint Catherine of the Church of Notre-Dame de Couetrai, in Belgium.
Few architectural elements from the pre-roman period have survived, however some decorative fragments have been found. The most important is the foundation of a tower with a typical Moorish-Arabic door. This door is well preserved and positioned in the Northwest corner of the cloister, which is, in itself, a masterpiece of elegance, serenity and harmony. It was once the main entrance to the Monastery, original door, charmingly simple, of a great architectural interest, owing to the purity of its lines and good taste of its ornamentation, it is now the most perfect Moorish-Arabic element among the few ones still existing in Portugal. Several signs of the Romanesque, Gothic and Classic architecture can bee seen over the main building, documentation dating back to the 7th century.
In 1951, the big east wing underwent an enormous fire, nothing but the Chapter Hall and the Frei Jerónimo veranda was saved. This fire destroyed forever a patrimony of incommensurable value, especially the rich and large set of azulejos (glazed tiles) panels covering the walls of the big gallery where now the sleeping-rooms are (corresponding to the former cells of the monks). This are not ordinary azulejos, the background is blue instead of the drawings, in white and gold. The lost azulejos and the remaining ones do not represent saints' virtues or miracles, showing war and society scenes with no religious ideology. Was more important the decorative power of the azulejos than the themes. Dated from 1747, the azulejos represent a beautiful set of pictures of the life in Portugal in the 18th century: banquets, shepherds, elephant and wild boar hunting, games, concerts, fishing practices, and the classic theatre. Remarkable of their characteristic and movement, these azulejos cover the staircase that leads to the Chapter Hall, the Chapter Hall, and the Frei Jerónimo veranda.
There are also other charming points, like the superb gardens, to be counted among the best Portuguese's gardens. A magnificent stone staircase and an artificial lake can be found among the trees. The Frei Feronimo's balcony is a real open-air hall. The church, with its remarkable set of religious sculpture works and important ornamentation consisting of golden and polychromatic wood-carving works, a museum that possesses some good paintings and extraordinary furniture.
The Augustine monks built a set consisting of four wings, including the church, surrounding the cloister. The building didn't suffer any important changes until the Jeronimus Fathers occupied the existing monastery. But the difficulties that the religious orders had to face lead the building to private property in 1834. In 1972 the state acquired it and rebuilding works and construction of new areas, according to a project that aimed at the transformation of this building into a hotel unit, began by the end of the 70's. The grounds of the ancient monastery of Santa Marinha da Costa lie in a small geographical shell crossed by a stream, on the west face of Penha Mountain, overlooking the city of Guimarães. It hosts a rare combination of plants and trees, including species of note, in addition to the architecture accumulated over the years, creating a particularly interesting landscape.
In essence, the grounds consist of a garden of box hedges, in the lower part, several groves of leafy trees lining the main paths and upper flight of steps, a number of copses in various places, whilst a small oak wood, which includes many noteworthy wild shrubs and herbaceous plants, occupies the upper level. Water from an underground spring, located inside the grounds, flows into a circular tank at the top of the garden, as well as a restored mill.
Whilst blending in very well with the natural surroundings, it also reflects man's continual efforts. The relationship with the ancient monastery building suggests a balancing act between man and nature, complementing each other in Baroque style. The grounds appear to be a fresh, leafy island, forming a special place, of which we must take full advantage.
There are 49 rooms and 2 Suites.The rooms have the following equipment:
At the Pousada de Sta. Marinha your wedding or event can take place in an ambience fully historic and traditional.
BEST RATES GUARANTEED
Your reservation is guaranteed to have the best rate available on the Internet. If you find within 24 hours of booking a lower rate for our pousadas on another website for the same room type, dates, and payment requirements we will match this rate.
|Prices in Euros per Double room, per night including breakfast and taxes|
|Type of room||01/08/13
|01/04/14 to 31/07/14
15/09 to 31/10
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*Rates are valid up to 9 rooms, vary according to the pousada availability and variation of the best available rate, please double check rates when booking.
(A) New Year - From 28/12/13 to 01/01/14 Same Rates as From the 01/08 to 14/09/14
(A) Easter - From 17/04/14 to 19/04/14 Same Rates as From the 01/08 to 14/09/14
Single Occupancy - 10.00€ discount
Cancellations: First night will be charged if reservation is cancelled less than 48 hours prior to arrival date. No-Shows: Entire stay will be charged.