Nazaré is a village of sea people. It was, ever since, the land of fishermen, people who lived from what the ocean gave them. Men who risked their lives to find sustenance and women who worked hard on the beach, a community marked by the tragedy of shipwrecks.
Today, fishing is no longer the main activity and Nazaré lives less tragic days. But he's still devoted to the sea. Where we gather stories of the time of Jesus Christ with records of the Guinness. A typical and vibrant village where there are no shortage of secrets, legends, fresh fish and viewpoints to admire the view.
Nazarena: Tradicional women with seven skirts
The typical woman of Nazaré wore seven skirts. It is still possible to see women dressed in various skirts today. In a region with strong seashore and wind, the skirts helped protect from the cold the women who on the beach hoped that their men would return from the sea to help with the fish and the boats. But also, the seven skirts have an aesthetic connotation: women stay with a thinner saíste and more rounded shapes, which makes them more beautiful.
Tiny pieces of history
Nazaré is a magical and unique place for various reasons. Its history is fascinating and leads us to travel to the time of Jesus Christ. The name Nazareth originated in a small image of Our Lady brought from Nazareth of Palestine to this place many centuries ago.
According to legend, this image has been carved by St. Joseph himself when Jesus Christ was a child. It is a small image in olive wood that represents the lady breastfeeding her baby.
The original image of Our Lady of Nazaré is saved in the village sanctuary. But we can admire a replica in the memory hermitage.
The small sculpture of Our Lady was brought in the fifth century to Mérida. In 711, D. Rodrigo, the last king of the Visigodos, was defeated by the Muslims at the Battle of Guadalete. He escaped and took refuge in a convent in Mérida, where the image of Our Lady was.
D. Rodrigo and Frei Romano, a monk of the convent, fled from Mérida towards the west, bringing with it the image. When they arrived at the place where the land ends, today the site of Nazareth, hid it in the rock and then stayed for centuries until it was discovered in the 12th century.
In 1182, D. Fuas Roupinho, Alcaide of Porto de Mós, avoided falling from that cliff after evoking the name of Our Lady. And it was from this moment that this place began to have a religious connotation.
Ermida da Memória was built in honor of the Holy Lady and Nazaré became a place of faith and pilgrimage for the people, for the Kings and for Lords of great projects as Vasco da Gama, who came here to ask the Lady for protection before his trip to India.
The Legend of Nazaré
It was a very foggy day. D. Fuas Roupinho went out to hunt, mounted on his horse. When he spotted a deer, he ran fast behind him. He just realized he was running towards the cliff when he saw the deer fall. But I was too close to the edge of the escarpment and I couldn't stop.
Desperate, he cried for help to Our Lady of Nazareth, whose image had been hidden in that rock for so long. Miraculously, the horse caught at the last moment and D. Fuas saved himself from the right fall and death.
Grateful, he had erected the Ermida da Memória and, from that day on, the site of Nazareth become a place of pilgrimage and prayer to Our Lady. It is said that it is still possible to see the mark of the paws of the Horse of D. Fuas spiked on the rock.
Nazareth, magical land and contrasts, has much to explore. Find a guide to spend a good day in Nazaré.