The Seminary of Santa Teresinha do Menino Jesus de Pombeiro, in Felgueiras, was relevant in its ecclesial, human and social dimension as a school of formation and human and intellectual promotion for many young people from Pombeiro and abroad. The Vale de Pombeiro de Ribavizela lost an important icon in its history, on the night of the 25th of July. The fire that devoured the Seminary and reduced it to a granite skeleton, impoverished the heritage of Pombeiro. The Seminary of Santa Teresinha dialogued in the Valley with the Monastery of Pombeiro. They saw each other. The reform of ecclesiastical studies after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) opened Seminars to University Courses in Philosophy and Theology. The Major Seminary of Santa Teresinha then went through several formation experiences. Its essential function has come to an end. It was decommissioned in 1988. The building was eventually sold to a private individual.
THE NEO-MANUELINE SEMINARY CHAPEL
The most beautiful part of the Seminário ST, is the chapel. The chapel features Neo-Manueline architecture. This Portuguese style draws from Late Gothic-style influences. This Gothic Revival style originated in the mid-1800s. Many prestigious late 800s buildings in Lisbon are built in this style.
Manueline is the style that marks the Portuguese artistic and architectural shift away from the late Gothic during the reign of King Manuel I (1469-1521). Although a period of great controversy for art historians, Manueline architecture is a vivid ornamental reflection in Portuguese architecture from the days of the great sea expeditions and meetings with new cultures in faraway lands.
In fact, it is Portuguese architecture in its purest and most unique form, ranging from religious architecture to military monuments evident in the Tower of Belém with its civil ornamentation.
The numerous forms related to the sea and intrepid voyages across the oceans to other continents, mixing elements of Christianity with shells, ropes or fantastic and strange aquatic shapes.
Heraldic or religious symbolism, as seen in the armillary spheres, are other features of this style where there is undoubtedly an ornamental glorification that separates itself from the gothic and in some ways avoids the classicism of the Renaissance.
There are beautiful stained glass windows, miraculously all intact. The main altar and the two lateral altars are wooden. The altars have intricate carvings and gold gilding.
The main entrance of the chapel, where we entered, is attached to the seminary via a doorway. There are also two side entrances to the chapel. These doors feature cracked and peeling yellow paint. Vines and other plants cling to the wrought iron window decorations.