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Photographer's Note

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Place : Cabo Espichel (Cape Espichel)

Region: Municipality: Sesimbra / Parish: Castelo

Theme: Sanctuary complex - of Ours Lady of the Cape

To see: map view

Cabo Espichel (Cape Espichel)

Is a cape located near Sesimbra, Portugal. Tourists are drawn there due to breathtaking views of its cliffs facing the Atlantic Ocean.

There is a legend about an old man from Alcabideche (near Sintra) and an old woman from Caparica, both of whom went to the cape at the same time prophesying an apparation of the Virgin, who duly appeared riding on a mule (hence the name Pedra da Mua given to the promontory). The footprints of the mule of Our Lady are nothing more nor less than the numerous dinosaur prints to be found there. The sanctuary is apparently XV century in origin, but it must have been the starting point of a pilgrimage, wich made its way from the interior to the coast across the Serra da Arrábida, wich itself is part of the same mythical system, with numerous pre-historic grottoes, some of wich were used until the Early Middle Ages. The Capuchin monastery there owes its origin to a legend in wich the Virgin appeared to save shipwrecked sailors. This magic place, however, substituted an old Muslim mosque, there being various testaments to this itinerary gradually being christianized, part of it being the underground, highly original grotto of Our Lady of Arrábida. Cape Espichel is a place of equinoctial worship. The actual churche founded in 1707, is strangely close to the "west". Various pilgrimages converge on the sanctuary from both sides of the River Tagus, covering the so-called saloia or peasant/country region.

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