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Photographer's Note

Today I'm posting once more a photo of my favourite chapel.
I grew up not far from this chapel and I come to this place since I remember. It’s situated on the top of a hill, with a wonderful view over the city.
The church is Manueline (nowadays that can be seen mainly inside), having received several works after, and it’s devoted to Our Lady.
It was in the Castle of Montemor-o-Novo that King D. Manuel gathered the court, by the end of the 15th century, to decide Vasco da Gama's departure to India.It is said that after the departure to India, the king used to come to this chapel to pray.
The architecture, as well as the blue & white colours aretraditional from the south. The interior is simple but beautiful and it has two rooms completely filled with ex-votos brought by the people. They date from the 18th till this century but most part of them date from the period of the 1st World War and from the period of the War in the Portuguese Ex-Colonies. The history of the region is partially told in these rooms. The first ex-votos were mainly paintings representing scenes about the problems of the people (illness, agriculture, ..), then, with the wars, the space has received lots of photos of the soldiers, brought by their families who used to come to pray for them. But, the most famous ex-voto is a crocodile brought by a soldier when he came from the war in Africa. Of course it’s dead, but I still remember coming here when a child and staring at it very scared because I was afraid it might start moving at any moment.
Our Lady is the Patron Saint of the city. There is a feast every summer and it’s to this chapel most part of the people in the area come to pray or ask for something and almost everyone has a photo in the middle of all those ex-votos. That’s a way of asking for protection.

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Additional Photos by Ana Dores (adores) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5732 W: 64 N: 11349] (46979)
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