Wood saints

Christmas Card 2015

The Grão Vasco museum in Viseu houses an exquisite collection of wood statues from the 18th century. The names of the sculptors who created these pieces have long been lost. What remains is the mastery with which they used their mallets and chisels to breathe life into wood.

The Grão Vasco museum is located at Adro Sé in Viseu, tel 232 422 049.

Portuguese Madonas

Composit SantasIf you visit Crato, a beautiful village in Alentejo, don’t miss the chance to see the wonderful collection of Madonas housed in the Flor da Rosa Pousada.

The statues were carved in limestone, gilded and painted in Portuguese workshops during the 15th and 16th century. We can tell that the images were not drawn from the artists’ imagination because the faces are unmistakably Portuguese. How did the artists choose the women who inspired these  sculptures? Perhaps they saw in their humanity a glimpse of the divine.


The Crato castle was converted into a beautiful historical hotel called Flor da Rosa, which is part of the Pousadas network. Click here for the Pousadas’ website and here for photos of the castle.