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Since the 1st of July, 2020, ISCTE-IUL has carried out the first Work Package: preliminary census and case studies mapping.

Once the thirteen case studies have been identified in the Portuguese territory – supported by the literature review, cartographic and toponymic consultation and analysis, interviews with local people and entities – a preliminary location map was compiled, constituting a support tool for future field visits.

The first four observant settlements, along Minho River, have been selected for deeper analysis:

  1. Santa Maria de Mosteiró (Valença);

  2. Santa Maria da Ínsua (Caminha);

  3. São Francisco de Viana (Viana do Castelo);

  4. São Paio do Monte (Vila Nova de Cerveira).

The first tasks aim to study the legacy of the Franciscan Observance landscape network and attempts to fill in the gaps found in a material study of the Order’s settlements. Most of these settlements have been abandoned – this increased degradation and their features have been often lost –, the others have lost their original function and values.

The purpose of the project is: i) to create and share knowledge; ii) to safeguard cultural heritage resources; iii) to connect people with heritage.

Preliminary reports on the historical, architectural and anthropological features have been carried out in order to structure a census system, through datasheets.

Future activities will be aimed at the planning and scheduling of on-site visits. These will include a photographic and architectural survey of the buildings – with traditional techniques – and interviews with the owners, providing data about the buildings’ metamorphosis in terms of morphology and function since the dissolution of religious orders in Portugal (1834).


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