Capela do Monte
The most important feature of the Casas da Capela at Monte da Charneca is the unique Hillside Chapel, the "Capela do Monte" designed by Álvaro Siza, inaugurated in March 2018.
Álvaro Siza, who is the most famous Portuguese architect and the first to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, has spoken about the beauty of the site and his pleasure at designing a "pure architectural project."
This exceptional chapel is Siza's first completed project in the Algarve and has driven significant international media coverage, a regular stream of visitors and interest from all over the world. It is currently open by reservation only, but guests at the houses are welcome to book a visit.
The rose beige-coloured Capela do Monte can be reached only by way of a foot path. The one-story structure, with a footprint of 10.34 x 6.34 meters (34 x 21 feet), is without electricity, heat or running water, relying on natural ventilation and materials (insulated brick, limestone and tiles) to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Siza has designed the chapel's cross, altar, bench and chairs, all produced by the Oporto-based carpentry and furniture design firm Serafim Pereira Simões Sucessores, and has made drawings for murals depicting scenes from the life of Jesus, made into tile panels by the Portuguese company Viúva Lamego. A churchyard (or adro) of roughly the same size as the building extends the chapel to the west.
The Capela do Monte "Hillside Chapel" is a private Christian chapel on private land. It is not a public space, and the property is occupied by private families and guests. Visitors may not come to the chapel without permission of the owners.
Visits are held on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Visitors should register on the link below. If a group would like to visit the chapel outside of the monthly visits, it is possible to arrange an exceptional appointment with at least 2 days' prior notice. Please contact us on the email listed below.
Visitors with a prearranged appointment should meet in the parking area of the "Casas da Capela" to walk up to the chapel. In case of rain, the visit may be cancelled (the resulting red mud stains the stone floors of the churchyard and chapel).
Please note that the Capela do Monte can be reached only on foot, up a hill. Sturdy shoes and water are recommended. There are no toilet facilities on the premises at this time.
No photography is allowed for professional purposes or for publication.