Combining views, architecture and religion, the Penha Sanctuary (Guimarães, Portugal) is unique.
A project of the portuguese architect José Marques da Silva (18 Oct 1869 – 6 Jun 1947), one of the most important architects of modern architecture in Portugal and author of many architectural master-pieces.
The project started in 1930 with the choice of the site, with the starting of the works in 6 August of that same year. About the project José Marques da Silva, wrote:
“I’d like to do something proper and adequate, expressive and modern. Need to be a building with a particular character, very proper of the situation that occupies and very special that for could be visited with interest equal to that drags upstairs to the mountain of Penha those who will admire and wonder the nature, rather a strange nature.”
Construction and edification (with a fire in 13 de Fevereiro de 1939 that destroyed part of the main altar) extended till inauguration in 14 September 1947, 3 months after Marques da Silva death.
With unusual lines for those days, the Penha Sanctuary building is essential “Art-Deco”
The surroundings are Nature at it’s best, with vast overlooks and a unique vegetation, peculiar huge granitic outcrops and formations, some of them well known like “Penedo Suspenso” (a granitic suspension) , “Desfiladeiro Labiríntico” (labyrinthic canyon) and “Desfiladeiro Pio IX” (Pio IX canyon).
In this almost esoteric, foggy and, isolated environment the Sanctuary rises, detaching itself, but at the same time in consonance with the scenery. An imposing structure, a beautiful structure, a place to go.