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The town of Ega
Monuments that tell the history of the people
The old Ega was the base of the county from 1231 to 1836, covering about a third of today’s Condeixa-a-Nova county, with 350 hectares. It was crossed by the Roman road which linked Olissipona (Lisbon) to Bracara Augusta (Braga) and by the Mouros River. Ega lands attracted many communities throughout the centuries, because of its easy access, its natural land richness and by the abundance of resources. Inhabited by Romans and occupied by Swabians, also Arabs were in Ega, taking advantage of its privileged geographical position, in order to keep a military position, which later on would be used by the Templars as a strategic defensive position of the reign. The historical interest of Ega is certified by the importance of the documents which concede existence and autonomy, like the donation letters of D. Teresa and D. Afonso Henriques and some other two charters. Also its monuments, classified as real Estate of public interest, testify its importance to the Order of Christ and to the nation’s history. The theory has been stated that the richness of Ega was a source of financial support to the enterprise of oversea discoveries. Throughout its history, the town of Ega has had a tight connection to the soil, organising its cultural life according to the farming and harvest seasons and the time to sell and exchange endogenous products, creating working rituals and acquaintanceship, ways of using and producing, ways of being and living that still hold in time and make its identity. According to the National Statistics Institute, the 2011 census has shown that there are 2835 people living in the Ega civil parish. They are spread through the villages of Arrifana, Casal da Ameixeira, Campizes, Casal do Missa, Casével, Ega, Serrazina, S. Fipo, Rebolia, Relves and Vale de Janes (not including the places of Picota, Fornos de Castel and Presa which also belong to the civil parish). This corresponds to a population density of 81.3 inhabitants per square kilometre.
The head Church
A building of Public interest since 1955 by the bill no. 40361, DG, I Series, no. 228, from October 20th, is an important example of the Renaissance religious architecture, even though its origin is previous and it is confirmed by the Official letter from the Pope Urbano III (Bula intelleximus ex authentic) which dates from 1186. It was a donation to the Master and knights of the Order of the Temple. It is estimated that the original Church was smaller, with characteristics which did not survive the consecutive reconstructions. The reconstruction, which makes it an example of the Manuelino style, was initiated around 1520, after the Visit to the original building by people in charge of the Order of Christ between 1507 and 1508. Therefrom resulted the bill for the reconstruction work, despite describing the building as well preserved, restored and with isolated walls and roof, and with the interior freshly painted. The decision to intervene in an apparently well preserved building certifies the importance of the Ega Commandery to the Order of Christ, which dignified the town and amplified the magnificence of its monuments. The architect Marcos Pires was hired to restore the Head Church. In the 40s of the 16th century the leadership of the enterprise shifted to Diogo de Castilho (or to his brother, João de Castilho). The authorship of the ribbing abbey is given to Diogo de Castilho. The resulting building owns a longitudinal planimetry of a single nave, highlighting the stonework gate on which the national symbol and the Christ Cross are displayed. The interior space is partially covered with white and blue tiles from the 17th century. The preservation work done in the 60’s of the 20th century revealed fresco murals on the walls, hidden until then by two lateral altars. Those paintings already mentioned in the Visitation Act of 1507. There are also traces of Sevillian tile overlay. Since 1990 those walls have been covered by the golden engraved alters, dated from 1620, taken down in the 60s with the preservation work and returning to their place later in the 20th century. Inside the church people can observe an altarpiece belonging to the catalogue of the Primitive Portuguese People, presented in the Portuguese World Exhibition in 1940, to celebrate simultaneously the eight centuries of the nation and three centuries of independence. The work was ordered to be executed in 1543 by D. Afonso de Lencastre, at the time Commander of Ega. It is a wood tryptic which represents in the central panel Our Lady of Grace, baby Jesus and Afonso de Lencastre himself as a knight kneeled next to the Virgin. Its author is Diogo de Contreiras. On the side panels we can see The Fall of Simão Magno and the Conversion of Saint Paul. On the lock of the altarpiece we can find a medallion with the Christ Cross certifying that it was ordered by the Order of the Temple. Also, the chapel of Blessed Sacrament, done by the architect Tomé Velho, has historical importance, being described by Vitor Serrão, as an important example for the understanding of the limestone sculptors from the Mondego valley. Pillory The pillories are monuments of high symbolic value, directly connected to concession of political, social and jurisdictional autonomy to the communities where they are placed. The pillory of Ega was classified as a Building of Public Interest by the Bill no. 23 122, DG, I Serie, no. 231, 11th October 1933. It is presently situated at the entrance of the village, next to the 342 National Road. The Ega pillory is the only one in the county of Condeixa-a-Nova, to which was given this official classification. This certifies the geo-political importance of the town in the 16th century, when it was presumed to be built. We can highlight the prism top, finished in pine form with sides decorated with heraldic motives. Despite the time which has gone by, we can still see as dominant motives an arm shield, an armillary sphere, a cross and a coat of arms of unknown origin, representing a tree with two pending escutcheons. The mystery involving this coat of arms, with its independence related to any manor house or established powers and the tree symbolism with its connection to land and life were the inspiration of the new visual identity of the civil parish of Ega, created in 2013. On the prism angles we can see fleur-de-lis. We can also read two inscriptions with dates related to restorations, one in 1698 (the date registered on the shaft) and another done in 1891 which originated the epigraph RF – EM- 16.9.91, shown in the south side of the monument.
The Palace in Ega, a palace of the Christ Order, a Commendadors Palace or Ega Palace is a monument classified as a building of public interest since 2002, by the Bill no.5/2002, DR 1st Serie-B, no.42. The place where we can find the Palace today must have been a fortress of people who easily understood the strategic importance of that location. However, the first historical document which refers the Ega Palace is the donation letter from D. Teresa to the Order of Templars. In agreement with the conditions of the land donation, the Templars had to build (or rebuild) a defensive palace in the late 12th centrury, early 13th century. With the end of the Order of Templars, the land in Ega passed on to the Order of Christ, becoming then the head of the Commandery. Recently the palace has been purchased and it has undergone extensive reconstruction work led by the architect Miguel Brito Correia. The palace regained its original beauty and dignity. Nowadays adapted to rural tourism, the Palace of Ega offers to its visitors comfort and elegance in an enchanting environment of a medieval palace, from which we can see and breathe the landscape and history of Ega. It’s in this place of historical ownership that many cultural activities take place in Ega, each one also promoting the connection of people to the place and traditions which belong to them. Manuelino Gate of the Head Church , interior Sitting room of the Commendadors Palace Trytic alterpiece of the alter in the Blessed Sacrament chapel Detail of the Pillory’s chapiter
LOCATION Ega civil parish, Condeixa-a-Nova county, Coimbra district, 34.87 square kilometres area, situated between the Sicó hills and the Mondego valley, the Ega civil parish belongs to the Coimbra district and it is the biggest civil parish in Condeixa-a-Nova county. It borders with the civil parish union of Condeixa-a-Velha and Condeixa-a-Nova, the civil parish union of Sebal and Belide and the civil parish of Furadouro. It has a privileged geographical position, distancing 190km from Lisbon, 130km from Oporto, 15km from Coimbra and 40km from Figueira da Foz. Lat: 40o 05’ 42o N Long: 8o 32’ 24o W
MAP Ega is crossed by a dense road network, being the most important IC2 (before EN1), which links Lisbon to Oporto and EN342, which links Soure to Condeixa-a-Nova. It is close to the toll road exits of A1 (Condeixa), A13 (Condeixa), A17 (Pombal) and the highways IC3 (Condeixa) and IP3 (Coimbra).
CONTACTS Civil Parish of Ega Address: Rua Prof. José Maria Gaspar, 3150-256 Ega Tel.: 239 944 768 Email: email@example.com www.jf-ega.pt
EGA 1- Civil Parish building 2- Ega Palace 3- Pillory 4- Church and fountain of Ega – Casal da Vila 5- Our Lady chapel – Rosário 6- Pray for the souls sanctuary of Ega 7- Fountain of Casal da Cruz 8- Fountain of Casal Pedro Vaz 9- Fount and fountain of Casal da Fonte 10- Fountain of Casal Fernão Domingues 11- Fount of Figueira 12- Fount of Casal da Barreira 13- Old fount of Casal dos Barreiros 14- Fountain of Barreiros 15- Diving fountain of Casal dos Barreiros 16- Fount of Cambulha 17- Fount of Saint Anthony 18- Lambarices restaurant and Social Centre 19- School of Ega 20- Cantinho Doce pastry shop 21- Swimming pool and Ugas Centre 22- Graveyard 23- Open wash place – Casal da Torre 24- Open wash place – Casal do Rossio 25- Saint Anthony Chapel – Casal da Fonte 26- Olho Spring 27- Lime kiln 28- Olive oil press place in ruins 29- Water mill in ruins 30- Alcohol factory in ruins and Fountain of Casal da Torre
REBOLIA 1- Rebolia Chapel 2- Rebolia Centre 3- Open wash place of Rebolia
PRESA 1- Presa Chapel
RELVES 1- Relves Chapel
SERRAZINA 1- Serrazina Chapel and fountain 2- Fountain 3- Pray for the souls sanctuary and fountain 4- Medronhal caves 5- Olive oil press place in ruins 6- Small farming field 7- Roselha
S. FIPO 1- Fountain and chapel 2- Spring 3- Crossing fountain 4- Conímbriga ceramics factory 5- S. Fipo and Palhacana’s cultural and sports centre
FORNOS DE CASTEL 1- Our Lady of the Conception hermitage
CAMPIZES 1- Brejo fount 2- Fountain of Rua da Fonte 3- Campizes chapel 4- 2000 Jubilee Cross 5- Centre 6- Quinta da Prazo nursery garden 7- Campizes fount 8- Crossing fountain and Paris restaurant 9- Our Lady of the Conception pray for the souls sanctuary and Espiga baker’s/ pastry shop
CASÉVEL 1- Outeiro fount 2- Rossio fount 3- Casével Chapel 4- Fountain next to the Café 5- Primavera baker’s/ pastry shop 6- Spring with picnic park 7- Casével centre 8- Graveyard
CASAL DO MISSA 1- Chapel 2- Centre 3- Fountain Chemist’s Gas station Mouros river Civil parish’s limits Civil parish’s route Pedestrian path MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: