10:00 am – 12:30 pm / 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, from Wednesday to Sunday
Closed to the public: 1st January; Easter Sunday; Labour Day (1st May); 25th December; 13th June (municipal holiday)
About seven kilometres from the city of Vila Real, Panóias houses one of the only two sanctuaries for oriental cults in the Iberian Peninsula, where three large carved rocks, with steps and several cavities for ritual purposes, and an important set of liturgical inscriptions with instructions have been preserved, dedicated to the demonic deities, headed by the god Serapis.
Ordered built during the transition from the 2nd to the 3rd century by the Roman senator Caius Calpurnius Rufinus, where initiation rituals took place with a very precise order and itinerary – the killing of the victims, the sacrifice of the blood, the incineration of the victims, the consumption of the flesh, the revelation of the name of the highest authority of hell, and finally the purification -, with a strong oriental influence, especially from Asia Minor, where traces of this cult can be found.
Also called Fragas de Panóias, the Panóias Sanctuary worshiped indigenous gods identified in the inscriptions as the Lapiteas.
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