Chapel cliff undergoes “controlled demolition work”

Controlled demolition work has been carried out on the precarious outcrop of rock, home to Porches’ chapel of Nossa Senhora da Rocha.

The work was carried out on Tuesday (February 3) by GNR Protection and Rescue Intervention Group (GIPS), weeks after a section of cliff beside the chapel gave way, taking with it a stretch of boundary wall (see: https://www.portugalresident.com/danger-stunning-clifftop-chapel-at-risk-of-collapse-1)

“What we have done is brought down unstable rocks,” APA’s regional director Sebastião Teixeira told RTP.

The idea is for the beauty spot that sees tourists flocking to be safer, but Teixeira stressed the work “won’t extend the promontory’s lifespan”, or indeed that of the little chapel.

“We have to plan very well what we do next,” he said, as trying to trim the edges of the cliff any further could compromise the whole site’s stability.

It is believed that the chapel – which was classified as a building of public interest in 1963 – dates back to the 8th century, with some parts possibly even older.

Photo: JOÃO PAULINO