Mother Church of Torre de Moncorvo

The Mother Church of Torre de Moncorvo is one of the most interesting monuments that the visitor can, and should, appreciate in the north-east of Trás-os-Montes. Built on the ruins of the medieval church of Santa Maria, work on the mother church is said to have started at the beginning of the 16th century and to have finished a century later. Rising around the bell tower and in its 30 metre splendour, it is dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Our Lady of the Assumption).

The main façade of the monument is dominated by the axial tower, square in plan and marked by the Mannerist retable arched portico flanked by two pairs of columns. Above the portal are the images of S. Pedro and S. Paulo that flank that of Our Lady of Assunção. And above these you can still see an arched window flanked by two glasses. At the top of the tower there are two balconies, above these the bells and also a clock. At a higher level on the sides of the church are several windows and further down two Renaissance style porticoes, one on each side.

Inside the vast temple, you can see that it is divided into three naves and five aisles, covered by a vaulted ceiling with multiple ribs that rise from eight enormous pillars. In the chancel, one can admire a large baroque gilded carved altarpiece, and there are four others in the rest of the temple – of Souls, of Our Lady of Assunção, of Saint Christ and of the Holy Family.

In the chapels inserted in the apses, there are the altars of the Blessed Sacrament – this is the oldest in the church, and of the Wounds – which seems to reuse elements of rococo gilded carving, probably from the vanished convent of S. Francisco. In the sacristy you can also appreciate another magnificent work of carving, from the 16th century and of Mannerist style.

In the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament there is a Flemish triptych to be highlighted – representing the marriage of Santa Ana and the Sagrada Parentela. In the high choir, which is on an intermediate floor of the tower, there is a superb pipe organ dating from the 18th century.