The Algarve Regional Directorate of Culture has concluded implementing the Accessibility Project at the Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, a national monument under its supervision, located next to the village of Raposeira in the municipality of Vila do Bispo.
The initiative was funded by Turismo de Portugal thanks to the Valorizar Programme, which “supports the enhancement and qualification of destinations” through the support line for accessible tourism.
The primary objective of this project was to provide the Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe with an accessible route for any visitor with reduced mobility, whether temporary or permanent. It now promotes inclusive communication for all visitors, considering strategies, actions and resources to eliminate physical, intellectual, sensory, social or cultural barriers.
Several accessibility solutions have been integrated into the project. The first is a walkway and access ramp to the temple, which makes the monument’s interior accessible to visitors in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. The remaining interventions relate to other needs, offering multiple learning opportunities with a multisensory and multimodal communication strategy.
Signage panels with historical context information have been placed inside the chapel and the surrounding area.
Information in simple writing, chromatic contrast, enlarged text and Braille, and plates with an embossed image in 2D are available in the Reception Centre of the national monument.
A billboard with interactive multimedia equipment can be found next to the Monument’s Welcome Centre, allowing every visitor to access historical contextual information on the cult’s origins to Our Lady of Guadalupe, its diffusion throughout the Iberian Peninsula and around the world. It also reveals the possible origins of this hermitage in the Algarve, its architectural elements, associated memories and even the myths of the Black Virgins. An audio description of the hermitage is also available in this equipment.
Finally, a holographic effect is one of the most visual and sensory solutions implemented. Placed inside the temple, it tells visitors about the legendary origin of the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe and its spread throughout the world until the appearance of this chapel in the Algarve. This option offers a sensory experience for all audiences, whether young children, people with low literacy, or elderly people with little desire to interact with new technologies.
All project contents are presented in three languages (Portuguese, English and German) in an accessible language. LGP – Portuguese Sign Language and SI (International Signal) are also options in the videos available on the screen and in the animation of the holographic experience. This solution also includes an audio description.
The Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe is one of the most enigmatic testimonies of Gothic in the Algarve region and of particular historical relevance to the heritage landscape associated with the Sagres Promontory.
The monument can be visited every day, except Mondays and on the holidays of January 1st, January 22nd (municipal holiday), Easter Sunday, May 1st and December 25th.
Visitors can purchase the «Rota do Infante» circuit ticket, which also includes the visit to the Fortress of Sagres.