Igreja de São Leonardo

Igreja de Atouguia da Baleia
© Carlos P. Gonçalves / CC BY-SA 3.0
Igreja de São Leonardo
© Manuelvbotelho / CC BY-SA 3.0
Igreja de São Leonardo interior
© Manuelvbotelho / CC BY-SA 3.0

Igreja Matriz de Atouguia da Baleia

Dating to origins in the thirteenth century, the Igreja de São Leonardo is the parish church to the region of Atouguia da Baleia in Peniche. It is the oldest place of Christian worship in Peniche. According to local legend, the church was initially constructed with whale bones that had washed up on the shoreline nearby.

A Portuguese national monument since 1949, almost as soon as it was built it became a burial place for the Counts of Atouguia. Perhaps as a result, it has seen a successive series of embellishments throughout the centuries.

An excellent example of the Parish Gothic style, the Igreja de São Leonardo consists of three naves separated by large columned arches. Although relatively plain in the interior compared to other churches in the region, it still has some fine artistry, with painted wooden ceilings and carvings of human figures and fantastical animals which date back to medieval times.

Other attractions near Igreja de São Leonardo


Peniche travel guide »

Peniche is a coastal town an hour's drive north of Lisbon. Peniche was an island until the sixteenth century, when silt created a narrow isthmus. It has been a busy fishing port since ancient times and retains a...