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mosteiro de s. miguel de refojos

2018 | Ongoing | Cabeceiras de Basto

The construction of the São Miguel de Refojos Monastery began in 1755, where a 17th century church already existed. The Church was nominated as a Property of Public Interest in 1933.

It is now partially occupied by the Cabeceiras de Basto Municipality, who work on safeguarding, promoting and enhancing this remarkable property, aspiring for tourism and attraction of new visitors. Despite having been through several restoration attempts for over almost three centuries, its poor state of conservation encouraged the Municipality to apply for renovation works.

The main concern of this project focused on the architectural and heritage valorisation of the complex, by developing the installation of a public service facility (SAU) on the ground floor of the west wing, the restoration of the church’s roof and east wing of the Monastery, as well as restoration of windows and facade painting. The Library space was also scheduled for future intervention (which has had structural restoration of ceilings and cabinets), as well as the refurbishment project for the Refectory space.

On the ground floor of the east wing of the Monastery, it was essential that the architectural solution would reflect the context of contemporaneity in which it was thought of, highlighting itself from the existent, and thus making it legible from the original construction. For this purpose, we highlight the works of restoration, conservation of existing elements and spaces, hiding and organising all the necessary infrastructures for the new utilities. Constructive solutions were thought in order to provide durability of materials and allow the maintenance and running of the facilities at a reduced cost.

The restoration of the church's roofs and the east wing of the Monastery included a review of the entire wood structure, general cleaning and protection, replacement of parts in poor condition, covering the entire area with ventilation lining and replacement of all existing tiles with new ones.

The restoration of the external facades included the treatment and painting of the existing plasters, stones, and the restoration or replacement of the original window frames and doors.

The project for the Library foresees the restoration of the window frames, new wood flooring, installation of pavement radiators, and furniture and lighting equipment.

The Refectory will be adapted into a multipurpose room, capable of hosting various utilities to support the events of the Monastery. This space is marked by the presence of a Pulpit that would exist in its function as an old Refectory, which is the intention of the project to replicate this element, with a simple design in steel plate.

The restoration project of the São Miguel de Refojos Monastery ensured the stability of the building in the present, by assuming its security in the future. The Municipality believes that the preservation of heritage is a collective responsibility, which they assume, by guaranteeing conservation and contributing to the tourist interest in the region marked by this exceptional property.

Property Owner:

Photo Credits:


Diagnosis and Church Structures:

Structural Engineering:


Restoration Team

Municipality of Cabeceiras de Basto

Inês D'Orey

AOF – António Oliveira Fernandes & Filhos, Lda.

Universidade do Minho - Eng.º Paulo Lourenço

POLIEDRO – Centro de Projectos de Construção, Lda.

Prof. Eng.º Vasco Peixoto de Freitas, Lda.

Oficinas Santa Bárbara

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