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The connection between architect Siza Vieira and Lionesa Group is not recent and has been built through numerous projects over the past years, such as the renovation of the Monastery of Leça do Balio, the sculpture-open Temple, the Viandante sculpture that will travel to the Venice Architecture Biennale, as well as the building next to Livraria Lello, still in design, among other future projects that are still in the pipeline with Porto's architect.


The most recent documentary celebrating the architect's 90th birthday, "SIZA", a journey into the mind of the world's most awarded architect, highlights the connection to the group through images and testimonials about one of his most recent works, the Temple, an introspection space that kicks off Caminho da Arte project.

Inspired by the heritage and Gothic pioneering of the Monastery of Leça do Balio, Siza conceived a contemporary landmark adjacent to the monastery, highlighting and giving visibility to the importance that the Ways of Saint James had in this heritage.

An ecumenical space, Temple transports us to different dimensions, playing with light throughout the day in an invitation to a personal journey of renewal.

The open concrete sculpture is about 400m2, making it the largest sculpture conceived by the architect who dreamed of being a sculptor. 

Augusto Custódio, director of the documentary says it is a project with incredible strength and soul, "Myself, when I started the recordings, was super impacted. I felt Siza's presence in every corner of the project, I think this is the architect's great legacy".


About Balio 

Balio, a path of millennial history in the contemporaneity of Siza's vision. 

Acquired in 2016 by Lionesa Group, the Monastery of Leça do Balio joins, for the first time, the architects Siza Vieira and Sidónio Pardal in a requalification project that, more than material heritage, aims to reactivate an important legacy, of a pioneering spirit and humanism, in its unavoidable connection to the Way of Saint James. 

That’s how Balio is born: Monastery, Garden and Temple. An ambitious project for cultural training in the territory, based on the spirituality that this millenary history conveys and that it is now transformed in symbols of the XXI century through contemporary art. A new environment in a space where more than 7000 lioneses go in their daily lives, which aims to trigger sensations and be an inducer of new paths. 

With the mission of providing the visitor with a self-visit experience through contact with History and Art, Balio will open its doors at the beginning of 2024.


About Caminho da Arte 

Caminho da Arte, a project promoted by Lionesa - Associação de Arte, Cultura e Turismo, has as its mission to connect Porto to Santiago de Compostela through contemporary art, and thus create the longest and most visited art stage in the world, with more than 260km.

In partnership with public institutions and the Catholic Church, the project will host art works by national and international artists along the path that connects the Cathedral of Porto to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

More than a physical path, the Way of Saint James is a spiritual path, a journey of introspection, which focuses on themes such as personal development, well-being and mental health. 

Knowing that Art and Culture also play a fundamental role in the transformation of territories and personal transformation, this project is a powerful tool for the human resources departments of companies that care about their assets, people. 

It is a unique project, capable of attracting tourists by making them travelers, which offers a different way to see and get to know our country, and at the same time has the ability to attract talent and fix it to the territory. 

The first milestone of this route will be the Temple by architect Siza Vieira.