La Peregrina Chapel

Pontevedra, Spain

The Capela da Virxe Peregrina is a highly unusual building situated in the Praza de Peregrina (square of the pilgrim) in Pontevedra city centre.

This chapel is unique and distinctive and attracts the attention of everyone who sees it. It was built in 1778 and is positioned on the main pilgrim's route that leads to Santiago de Compostela from Portugal.

The chapel is a fusion of Baroque detailing with some neo classical design elements. What makes the structure unique and eye catching is not however its intricate detailing (although there is plenty of that), but its shape and form in plan. The chapel has a ground plan in the shape of the viera (scallop shell), the traditional and long lasting symbol of pilgrims and the pilgrim's route to Santiago de Compostela.

From the outside the chapel looks 'stocky' but it is also strangely narrow and appears to be almost circular. It has a symmetrical appearance with several small windows climbing vertically up its facade and two small towers at it head. The portico is elaborate and has an equally decorative drinking fountain in front of it with a stair either side that takes visitors up to the entrance level, about four feet above the main square.

Inside the Pilgrims chapel there is a neo classical alter that dates from 1789. Its main feature is an image of Pontevedra's patron saint, the virgin pilgrim. The inside of the chapel is extremely small and none but pilgrims entered it when we were there.



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Founded: 1778
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

daniela bertol (5 months ago)
Beautiful baroque church with floor plan resembling the shell symbol of Camino de Santiago
Taylor (5 months ago)
Such a wonderful sight to see in this very nice little town. The sculpture, building and art are so very good and I would advise anyone to stop and visit if possible. This is a very nice part of town with so much to do within walking distance. Thank you to those that maintain this great structure.
Jonathan Cruz Sequeira (Cruzibabe) (7 months ago)
Didn’t go inside it was closed but very beautiful from outside, as well as the city
John Chang (8 months ago)
The original Virgin Pilgrim Church. Understood that this was a site of a tower under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Santiago. Pilgrims used to travel through Pontevedra and stop over for prayers here. Beautiful church inside with Camino seashell emblems all over the church including confessional box, Benches, statues etc. The pilgrim mass is daily at 730pm and apparently there’s also an English pilgrim mass later in the evening (but we can’t confirm.)
nicola napolitano (9 months ago)
The outside of the church is very beautiful indeed, with its fascinating scallop shape. Access via various steps from the Plaza de la Peregrina, where the convent of San Francisco is also located, adds to the charm of the whole area. The figure of the Pilgrim Virgin is of considerable importance for the city, traditionally representing the protector of traveling pilgrims. Upon entry, I was met by a gentleman in charge of stamping the Camino de Santiago credentials, which adds a touch of authenticity and spirituality to the overall experience. I highly recommend a visit to this church, a place steeped in history and significance, where majestic architecture and the presence of the Pilgrim Virgin intertwine in a truly unique atmosphere. If you found this review helpful, please leave a like. Follow me on Google Maps.?
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