Villages

S. Pedro Church

Marialva

Marialva

In 1515, the Order of Christ created the São Pedro de Marialva Benefice, which was possibly when the church was rebuilt. In the 17th century, the church was extended to include a porch and the vestry, which is engraved with the year 1659. The style of São Pedro Church is very common in Beira and is mentioned in Visitações da Ordem de Cristo in the early 16th century. The churches generally had a single nave with a wooden ceiling, an arch at the end and a simple chancel with interior walls often decorated with frescoes. The churches had a main door and two side doors and a bell tower with two bells. The interior of the church is profusely decorated with themes from different times. The frescoes and dry murals decorating the nave walls include a fresco of exceptional quality depicting the Martyrdom of St Sebastian in a frame inspired by Mudejar motifs surrounded by a border of Lombard motifs. Some dry compositions were also added in later times showing the Apostles and trompe l'oeil designs. The nave ceiling was renovated in the 18th century and a decorated wooden ceiling was added. The frames are painted with figures of saints by an anonymous artist. The carved wood altarpieces of the nave and chancel altars were built around 1735. They are characteristic of Portuguese baroque and have been attributed to Manuel Machado. In the 19th century, the walls in the nave were raised to make room for a choir loft, which meant dismantling the entire main façade and then rebuilding it, though the work did not change its mannerist style.