Patrimony and Leisure
Curral das Freiras
Curral das Freiras was an integral part of the parish of Santo António, however, given the extreme isolation of its population, which was a long distance from the center of the parish of santo António, the Curral das Freiras parish was only instituted in 1780, however, only a decade later by a regal letter by the queen D. Maria I, the Curral das Freiras acquires the status of an independent parish, separating definitively from Santo António. In our parish there was a chapel dedicated to Santo António, of which no trace elements remain, it was constituted in 1644, at the end of the XVIII century was in ruin, and if there was a need to build a new temple, the convento of santa clara, owner of these lands, they would give way to the diocese the necessary space for this purpose. Although there are no certainties, it was assumed that at the time of the parochial institution the works of what later would become the parish church had already begun.
Although the parish church is the only monument that constitutes the cultural and built heritage of the Curral das Freiras, it deserves also reference to the levadas here existing. Among which stands out the levada of piornais, the levada of Curral das Freiras and castelejo and lastly the levada velha, which was designed for the water catchment of the Curral das Freiras, being conducted until the Estreito, Quinta Grande and Campanário, however it never got completed. Its curious designation 'levada da velha' its due to the population imagination, because according to tradition, it was a rich old woman the author of this enterprise. In the old days, on the steep slopes of Curral das Freiras the sick patients were transported in the typical litters.
The parish of Curral das Freiras only has as patrimony its main church. In time, a chapel was lost in honor of Santo António and built around 1644. It served this chapel as the only parish of Curral das Freiras, when it was created on March 17th, 1790 and remained so until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the current church was built on land assigned to the diocese on 24 of July 1784 by the convent of Santa Clara. Between 1916 and 1918, the church undergoes important works being in particular constructed the lateral altars that the respective 'confrarias' had built in honor of the Lady of Livramento and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, being the carved work executed by the carver Manuel Inocêncio de Sousa and the painting to José Zeferino (Cyril). In this occasion, the altarpiece of the church is also built by the same carver. In August, the feast of our Lady of Livramento is celebrated, considered the main event of the parish, constituting, still today, a mandatory destination for numerous pilgrims.
Although without the importance of the parish church, we can not fail to emphasize the existence of two important and secular levadas originated in this parish: the Levada of Piornais, which irrigates the parish of São Martinho, the levada of Curral das Freiras and Castelejo , Levada Nova of Câmara de Lobos, which irrigates a significant area of Câmara de Lobos parish and levada da Velha, whose remains are visible on the western slope of Curral das Freiras, from the viewpoint of Eira do Serrado. As for this last levada, it seems that water has never reached its source and its builder is not known, so it is a legend, called the legend of Levada da Velha. As for this last levada, it seems that water has never reached its source and its builder is not known, so it is a legend, called the legend of Levada da Velha.
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