The Museum of Sacared Art and Archaeology, part of Porto's Seminário Maior de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, is housed in a 17th Century wing of the former Jesuit College. The museum's remarkable, rich and varied treasures are accommodated in a dynamic and artistically vibrant space that is open to the community and engaged in conserving and communicating the collection. What was once known as the 'corridor of slate' is now a noteworthy gallery of religious sculptures dating back from the 13th to 19th centuries. Sculpture is the true speciality of this museum, as can clearly be seen in the Irene Vilar room. Nevertheless, fascinatingly exceptional examples of painting, illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, vestments, religious adornments and archaeology are also to be found here.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.