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Ermida da Memória

Ermida da Memória - Nazare
© Heribert Bechen / CC BY-SA 3.0
Ermida da Memoria
© Skapynakys / CC BY-SA 3.0

In 1182 Dom Fuas Roupinho, a local dignitary, hunting deer in the area, almost fell to his death when the animal he was giving chase to plunged over the cliffs.  Knowing that there was a sacred grotto nearby, the horseman implored the help of Our Lady and it is said that his horse suddenly stopped, saving both horse and rider from following the deer to certain death in the waters below. 

Today the small Ermida da Memoria (Memorial Chapel), believed to date from 14th century still stands above the cave-like grotto, where a statue of a Black Madonna, believed to have been brought to Portugal from Nazareth was found.  A statue, believed to be the original can be seen above the altar in the nearby Ermida Nossa Senhora da Nazaré (Hermitage of Our Lady of Nazareth). 

The small, square Memorial Chapel has a pyramid-shaped tiled roof.  The interior is exquisitely decorated with blue and white azulejo tiles depicting the story of Dom Roupinho. A rock containing a horse’s hoof print can be seen close to the chapel.

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