Amarante: The Church of S. Gonzalo

S. Gonçalo’s good works earned him the devotion of the townsfolk. As the patron saint of Amarante, his memory is perpetuated by the annual festivities in his honour on the first week-end of June and his relics are preserved in the church which bears his name.

The Church of S. Gonzalo
In 1540 the original church was transformed by the additional of a large Dominican Monastery, concluded under the reign of King Phillip 1st. The emblematic Varanda dos Reis was built in the last quarter of the 17th century and features the four Portuguese Kings who reigned during its construction.

Part of the monastery now houses the Art Museum dedicated to the 20th century artist Amadeo Cardoso, Behind S. Gonçalo’s church stood the Convent of Santa Clara until it was burnt out during the 2nd Napoleonic Invasion. The Casa do Cerco was built on its ruins, and now houses the Borough library.

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Arriving in Oporto to select a port wine for his college, Englishman Horace Grimpil soon finds himself embroiled in the conflicting interests of the British and Portuguese communities, where he is an ignorant outsider.

This Portuguese city - a turbulent place of ambition and defiance fought over by the French and British during the Napoleonic wars - is emerging from political turmoil that left the city and its people with their wealth and society destroyed.

Mr Grimpil, however, is about to experience personal turmoil of his own. Little does he know how the passions aroused during his journey of discovery will affect his own character, or how his presence will bring to a conclusion the relentless pursuit of a political revenge spanning generations.

Read more about the book here

Grimpil's Retrogress © 2010

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