Dolmen Church and St. Paul’s in Pavia, Portugal

Dolmen church Pavia
We stopped in this tiny village as I’d heard that there was a Dolmen church here…no, me either, so I googled it to save you having too. A Dolmen is also known as a cromlech (like that’s a help!) is a single-chamber tomb, mostly dating from 4000-3000BC. So like 7000 years old!

This one is no exception apparently and was probably used to make human sacrifices to the Gods. Probably not so interesting to those who were the sacrifice, but to the rest of us… Another source says the 4m high stone was used as a burial chamber until “paganism fell out of favour”. I bet the sacrificial people were delighted by that “latest trend”!
Dolmen church Pavia
The Dolmen was converted into a tiny chapel dedicated to São Dinis in the 17th century and has a sweet blue tiled altar inside. Otherwise pretty sparse, but so interesting. The sign outside says it is a megalithic funerary monument and has a polygonal chamber composed of seven standing stones in situ. Impressive. I googled polygonal (what can I say) and apparently a polygonal dolmen is an attractive dolmen…I quite agree!!
Inside Dolmen church Pavia
Apparently there are many more pagan relicts across Portugal, so we will continue to look for them for you. But stop! This was not all there was to see in this tiny village. We just went for a walk to stretch our legs and discovered a magnificent church that was built in the 16th century. Not a word in my guide book! Were they afraid to leave the square in case they were mistaken as sacrifices??

We weren’t particularly lucky with the weather on the day we visited, but it was beautiful anyway. Apparently the façade and the south tower are from the 18th century (so really young…), but the other bits of St Pauls Church are clearly from the 16th century as can be seen by anyone (!) from the Manueline-Mudejar towers and roof castellations. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!
St Pauls church Pavia
I googled roof castellations and all it came up with was castellated ( meaning: A castellated building is made to look like a castle by having towers and battlements (= a wall with regular spaces in it). So are these wannabe castle tiles or what?
St Pauls church Pavia
On the board outside it also said: It has a rectangular plan and three naves. The decoration of the side altars is Baroque, as is the sanctuary of the altars is Baroque, as is the sanctuary of the altar of Na. Sa. Do Rosário, which has tiles of “cord seca”. The 16th century retable in the chancel represents the conversion of St. Paul.

You are now suitably informed and my job is done.

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