High atop a hilltop of schist on the western edge of the estate, the rustic chapel of Our Lady of Amparo has stood guard over the Quinta do Crasto since the 17th century.

Upon the death of two of their daughters on 10 July 1660 in Vila Real, the erstwhile owners – André Fernandes de Magalhães and his wife D. Maria de Sampaio – vowed to heighten their pious intentions at Quinta do Crasto .

Here, at the highest point overlooking the Douro River, the couple built this chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Amparo and then went on set up an endowment in its 1666 deed to dedicate six alqueires (an Arabic measure approximating 2.38 Imperial bushels of wheat and 21 almudes (an archaic measure of wine that is roughly 527 litres) of wine from the crop yield from their other estates to finance its masses and maintenance.

In the 1721 Memórias de Vila Real the Gouvinhas section reads: “In the district of this parish there is a property called Crasto, which starts at the Douro River, and there is a chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Amparo and it is believed that there are resources set aside to guarantee the praying of mass and that the house of worship belongs to João José of the city of Porto”.

Above the entrance, a detail on the façade of the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo draws visitors’ attention to the date 1816, which may possibly refer to the date of the chapel’s most recent restoration.

A painting dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Amparo appears in the modest interior and carries the inscription “This painting was commissioned by Manuel José Vilela of the Covas parish, 1881”.

These are the marks of a religious faith that has been passed down from generation to generation, from owner to owner.

The beauty of this spot at the Quinta do Crasto is one of disarming simplicity.

A panoramic view stretches 180º over the Bagaúste reservoir and a natural landscape marked by a centenarian olive grove, by the crafting of the vineyards, and the barrenness of a soil that can only be worked thanks to the unshakable faith of the men and women who dedicate their efforts to bringing to this spot a heightened sense of the divine, as if oil and wine were not quintessential symbols of the Catholic faith.

Every year a mass is said to bless the property and all of its owners and workers.