24 Hours In Matosinhos on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago

Matosinhos is located just a short few kilometres from Porto, a major starting point of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.

As Matosinhos is well-known for its beach life and seafood restaurants, many Porto residents visit Matosinhos to kick back and enjoy the sunshine during the summer months.

Matosinhos isn’t just a busy port and beach area. The town also has cultural heritage sites for you to explore. Indeed, the oceanfront is still defended by forts built in the 17th century.

Let’s take a look at the things to see and do in 24 hours in Matosinhos.

Igreja do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

This church was built and finished by the middle of the 16th century, but almost everything that remains is an 18th-century Baroque redesign.

There are three portals and a mass of sculpted granite, fashioned into pediments and alcoves, with statues of St Peter and St Paul.

The inside of the church is lined with gilded woodwork, both in the side chapels and at the main altar.

The organ is worth a moment of your time, as it was made in 1685 in the Hamburg style by the Dutchman Michael Hensberg.

Mosteiro de Leça do Balio

There has been a church on this plot of land by the Leça River since the 900s.

Indeed, there may have been a Roman temple here before the 900s as the church is located on the old Roman road that connected Porto to Braga in the north.

The church came under the control of the Knights Hospitalier in the 13th century who gave it the warlike appearance it has today. The church has a tough square tower defended by crenellations and equipped with arrow loops.

Inside, the column capitals showing bible scenes and the later recumbent funerary statue of the 16th-century bailiff Frei Cristóvão de Cernache are definitely worth a look.

She Changes

This public sculpture, which is suspended above the roundabout behind the beach is the work of the American Janet Echelman. Made in 2005, it was Echelman’s first permanent public installation. She Changes, as the sculpture is called, is a gossamer-light arrangement of circular nets 45 metres in diameter and harks back to Matosinhos’ traditional fishing industry.

If you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago and need a little helping hand preparing for your journey, why not let me take care of the mundane, leaving you to enjoy the magic? I offer Camino Itinerary Planning on the Portuguese Camino and Camino Finisterre y Muxia.

If you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago independently, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.

(c) Samantha Wilson 2023.  All Rights Reserved.

I’m a Camino de Santiago Guide who inspires people from all over the world to live a more adventurous life.
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