Restored in the 1950s, the old monasterys chapel is a gem of Romanesque architecture, yet it emphasises the restrictive nature of the location. As is typical for Christian churches, the main entrance faces west while the nave points east. Perched on a narrow ledge overlooking a steep drop to the Rio Távora the beautifully carved doorway to the chapel is a mere metre away from the rugged rockface and only accessible via a narrow archway. Despite this single file access and therefore limited exposure, the tympanum and capitals of the doorway are rich with decorative symbolism including some satirical figures
The limited space and unsuitability of the surrounding landscape for agricultural purposes meant that site was far from ideal to support a growing and fully functioning monastery. Two of Dom Rausendos great grandsons founded the new monastery, known as São Pedro de Távora or São Pedro-o-Novo, at the end of the 12th century. At a later date, their sister donated land and the monks moved from the original monastery to their improved facilities where they could be self-sufficient, and established what is now known as the Monastery of São Pedro das Águias.