The church of Santa Maria Madalena in Alcobertas, Portugal, is remarkable because of its foundations. It stands on top of an ancient dolmen dating from the New Stone Age, around 3000 BC. In the 17th century the church was connected to the baroque church which stands next to it. Since then the only way to get into the dolmen is from inside the church.
The dolmen consists of 8 support stones but the capstone is now missing. The upper part of the church is built with bricks and topped with a roof of red tiles. What is also remarkable is that one side of the church consists of large stones from a dolmen while the other side is white with striking blue wall tiles.
The entrance is through an arch of blue tiles, above which are wall tiles showing Saint Magdalena at prayer. On the altar stands an image of Saint Anna and the sides of the altar are tiled with another image of Saint Magdalena.
Igreja de Santa Maria Madalena / Igreja Paroquial de Alcobertas
Av. da Igreja 24, 2040-015, Portugal
Text Nadine Lemmers
Translation Alun Harvey