Century XI / XX
Its origin can be traced back to the 11th century. The present church dates back to the 1930s. The most important historical remains from the previous church were preserved, such as two stone tombs, reused in the exterior garden, the Renaissance high altar, the arches and the dog motifs with Romanesque elements. Two sacristies were added and the façade was divided into three vertical sections, with the central area slightly advanced and raised, finishing in a bell tower. This is in octagonal design, with a portico in round arch and topped by a niche with the image of the patron saint, the archangel St. Michael. A double arched window and an upper circular oculus with stained glass windows top the niche. The penultimate section has the bell openings and ends in a bulbous, radial vault, topped by a cross. Inside, there are the stained-glass windows, gilded carved altarpieces and the high altar with a gilded tribune, of great artistic value, with the image of the patron saint, the archangel St. Michael, in the centre, surrounded by St. Blaise and St. Judas Thaddeus.
Winter, daily, 08h00-20h00.
Summer, daily, 08h00-19h00.
Festivities: September 28 and 29, 08h00-24h00.
Archangel St. Michael
The patron saint of Marinhas is the Archangel St. Michael (Archangel = Chief Angel, Messenger). Present and important in the Jewish liturgy, as defender and intercessor of the People with God, his name (Michael = ‘who is like God?’) shows that there is no one like God. Therefore, he represents humility, unlike the lost and condemned angel, Lucifer, who revolted against God.
Since the 6th century, the Archangel St. Michael has been celebrated within the Christian liturgy and symbolism as the healing angel and the great protector against the forces of evil. He is presented as the Chief of the “Army of God”, fighting for goodness. He presides over Christian communities, as is the case of Marinhas, featured in wayside shrines and altars, alms altarpieces, rescuing Christians from the condemnation of hell.
Legend of Penedo Furado
In the Monte das Marinhas, right after the famous Abelheira mills, there is a very strange rock, known by all as Penedo Furado. Local children like to enter there turning Penedo Furado into a playground. However, children question their elders about the rock. They always ask why that rock has its characteristic shape and why it is so pierced. The elders respond to them, telling about the dangers of the sea, sighted from there, that seems infinite. Some people say that the sea has taken the shore many times and dragged everything, people, animals, etc. To live in Abelheira is living in a safe place. When you see the sea from a distance and the shoreline and tilled soils, the fear of being swallowed by the sea has remained here for generations. That is why the elders tell the children that when the tide rises they must flee to the Penedo Furado! As everyone in the area knows it, it is not difficult to find it. Inside, they feel safe from the invasion of the seawaters!