Lamego Cathedral: Nasoni paintings and erotic sculptures

Sé Catedral de Lamego
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The Lamego Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, is a Gothic-style monument located in the city of Lamego (district of Viseu), in the North of Portugal.

It was founded in the 12th century, specifically in the year 1129, but underwent alterations in the 16th and 18th centuries.

The exterior is grandiose, as is the architecture inside. After all, it has been classified as a National Monument since 1910.

What you may not know is the existence of erotic sculptures on the façade of Lamego Cathedral… I’m referring to explicit scenes of what you’re imagining!

Indeed, only with some skill can one notice the playful intention of the cathedral’s sculptors in a place of worship as significant as the Cathedral of Lamego.

It is also said that a queen was prohibited from entering Lamego Cathedral because of frivolous behavior with Galician nobles. In plural…

Controversies aside, it is one of the Portuguese monuments that we liked the most, so here we extend the invitation for you to join us on this journey.

We promise to share some historical facts about the cathedral, other fun stories that are believed to be true, and some suggestions to enrich the visitors’ experience.

Visit Lamego Cathedral

Lateral da Catedral de Lamego.
Lamego Cathedral.
Entrada para a Sé de Lamego.
Entrance to the Lamego Cathedral.
Catedral de Lamego.
Catedral of Lamego.
Altar-mor da Catedral.
Main altar of the Cathedral.
Talha dourada na Catedral de Lamego.
Golden woodcarving in the Cathedral of Lamego.

The Cathedral of Lamego is located in the city center, so it’s best to park your car on Dr. Alfredo Sousa Avenue and walk to the cathedral.

Since the cathedral is quite large, I suggest starting your visit by taking a walk around the exterior.

Take the opportunity to locate the Padaria da Sé, or Sé Bakery (behind the Cathedral), as their “bôlas” are very good.

Travel Tip: Admission to the Cathedral is free, but if you want to leave a donation, there is a designated area for that at the entrance.

When you enter the cathedral, your tendency will be to look up at the high ceiling.

Walk through the aisles of the cathedral while admiring the chapels that adorn the monument’s wings until you reach the main chapel.

There, pay close attention to the silver frontal, the golden woodcarving that stands out on the granite walls, and the thick pillars that support the ceiling.

Nicolau Nasoni was the painter responsible for the ceiling panels, so be sure to observe them with interest.

Before concluding your visit, also take a stroll through the cloister and the cathedral’s interior garden.

The stories and erotic sculptures of the Lamego Cathedral

Pórtico Catedral de Lamego.
Lamego Cathedral Portal.
Escultura de teor sexual na Catedral de Lamego.
Sculpture with an erotic nature, at Lamego Cathedral.

You must be expecting me to tell you some spicy stories related to Lamego Cathedral, so here it goes:

So, it seems that Dona Teresa, the mother of the founder of Portugal, after becoming a widow, dedicated her life to carnal pleasures.

And it wasn’t with just anyone; apparently, her tastes leaned towards Galician nobles.

Now, this situation wasn’t well-received by the bishop of Lamego, who simply prohibited her from entering Lamego Cathedral.

Whether these stories are true or not, I can’t say, but the sculptures with an erotic nature are quite visible in the cathedral.

If you’re curious, take a look at the photos I took at the entrance portico of Lamego Cathedral.

Lamego Cathedral Opening Hours

Sé Catedral de Lamego
Ceilings painted by Nasoni.

Lamego Cathedral can be visited every day from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM and from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, but visits are interrupted during religious celebrations.

Other monuments in Lamego

In Lamego, you will find other monuments, among which we highlight the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, the Castle of Lamego, and the Lamego Museum.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies (Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies is one of the largest Marian shrines in Portugal.

Main celebration takes place on September 8th, but visitors abound at any time of the year.

The monumental staircase has 686 steps and undoubtedly marks the landscape of Lamego.

Lamego Castle

Castelo de Lamego.
Lamego castle.

The Lamego Castle is situated atop a hill, providing it with a privileged view of the city.

Admission is free, and inside the Keep Tower, there is a very interesting museum worth including in your itinerary in Lamego.

Lamego Museum

Entrada para o Museu de Lamego.
Entrance to Lamego Museum.

The Lamego Museum was founded in 1917 and is housed in the former Episcopal Palace.

The museum visit takes place in several rooms, each dedicated to a specific theme.

For example, there is the Tapestry Room, the Archaeology Room, and the Tile Room, among others.

Accommodation in Lamego

There are many interesting places to visit in Lamego, so if you can stay overnight at least one night, you won’t regret it.

Quinta da Casa Amarela (4 stars) is a rural tourism spot on the outside the city and has a pool, making it a good choice for those visiting the city in spring or summer.

On the other hand, if you prefer to stay in the city center, I believe you will be well accommodated at Hotel Solar dos Pachecos (3 stars), right in the heart of the city.

Moreover, both Casa da Real Companhia (4 stars) and Lamego Hotel & Life (4 stars) have charging stations for electric vehicles, just in case you need one.

Luxury hotels are also plentiful in this area of the Douro, so if you value this type of accommodation, here are the most renowned ones:

Finally, if you didn’t like any of these suggestions, you can always check out the map with all the hotels, estates, Airbnb, and local accommodations in Lamego.

Hotels in Lamego

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Lamego Cathedral

Sé de Lamego, vista a partir do castelo.
Lamego Cathedral, view from the castle.
Jardim interior da Catedral de Lamego.
Garden inside the cathedral.
Pormenor da fachada da Catedral de Lamego.
Detail of the façade of Lamego Cathedral.

Is it worth visiting Lamego Cathedral?

Visiting Lamego solely for the cathedral might seem a bit elaborate to me; however, I have no doubt in asserting that including it in your visit is very much worth it.

Are there masses at Lamego Cathedral?

Yes, the schedule for masses is as follows:

Monday to Friday: 9:30 AM and 6:30 PM;

Saturdays: 6:30 PM;

Sundays: 9 AM, 10 AM, 11:30 AM, and 6:30 PM.

What are the origins of Lamego Cathedral?

The construction of the building we now know as Lamego Cathedral began in 1159, on the site of a former chapel dedicated to Saint Sebastian.

Centuries of construction and reconstruction followed, so the magnificent cathedral we know today reflects passages through various architectural styles. However, Gothic architecture is the dominant style.

Map and How to get to Lamego Cathedral

From Porto

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