Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery

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The Hieronymites Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, muʃˈtɐjɾu duʃ ʒɨˈɾɔnimuʃ) is located near the shore of the parish of Belém
Santa Maria de Belém
Santa Maria de Belém, or just Belém , whose name is derived from the Portuguese word for Bethlehem, is a civil parish of the municipality of Lisbon, in central Portugal...

, in the municipality of Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

. The monastery is one of the most prominent monuments of the Manueline
Manueline
The Manueline, or Portuguese late Gothic, is the sumptuous, composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation of the first decades of the 16th century, incorporating maritime elements and representations of the discoveries brought from the voyages of Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral...

-style architecture (Portuguese late-Gothic) in Lisbon, classified in 1983 as a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

, along with the nearby Tower of Belém
Belém Tower
Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal...

.

History


Originally, the home for the Hieronymite religious order, was built by the Infante Henry the Navigator around 1459. The chapel that existed there, to the invocation of Santa Maria de Belém, was serviced by monks of the military-religious Order of Christ
Order of Christ (Portugal)
The Military Order of Christ previously the Royal Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the heritage of the Knights Templar in Portugal, after the suppression of the Templars in 1312...

 who provided assistance to pilgrims who transited the area. The small beach of Praia do Restelo was an advantage spot, with safe anchorage and protection from the winds,sought after by the ships that entered the Tagus. The Ermida do Restelo, as it was known, was already a hermitage
Hermitage (religious retreat)
Although today's meaning is usually a place where a hermit lives in seclusion from the world, hermitage was more commonly used to mean a settlement where a person or a group of people lived religiously, in seclusion.-Western Christian Tradition:...

 in disrepair, when Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 and his men spent the night in prayer before departing on their expedition to the Orient in 1497.

The existing structure was started on the orders of Manuel I
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 (1469–1521) at the courts of Montemor-o-Velho in 1495, as a final resting-place for members of the House of Aviz-Beja
House of Aviz
The House of Aviz is a dynasty of kings of Portugal. In 1385, the Interregnum of the 1383-1385 crisis ended with the acclamation of the Master of the Order of Aviz, John, natural son of king Peter I and Dona Teresa Lourenço as king...

, in his belief that an Iberian dynastic kingdom would rule after his death. In 1496, King Manuel petitioned the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 for permission to construct a monastery at the entrance of Lisbon, along the margins of the Tagus River. It was after the arrival of Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

, a year later, bringing with him samples of gold he discovered, that the monastery became a representation of Portuguese expansionism, and that the church became a house of prayer for seamen leaving or entering port.

Middle Age


The construction of the monastery and church began on 6 January 1501 (and were completed 100 years later). King Manuel originally funded the project with money obtained from the Vintena da Pimenta, a 5% tax on commerce from Africa and the Orient, equivalent to 70 kilograms (154.3 lb) of gold per year, with the exception of pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

 and clove
Clove
Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. Cloves are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia and used as a spice in cuisines all over the world...

s (which went directly to the Crown. With the influx of riches, the architects were not limited to small plans, and resources already perscribed for the Monastery of Batalha (including the Aviz pantheon) were redirected to the project in Belém.

Manuel I selected the religious order of Hieronymite monks to occupy the monastery, whose role it was to pray for the King's eternal soul and to provide spiritual assistance to navigators and sailors who departed from the beach of Restelo to discover the world. This the monks did until 1833 (over four centuries), when the religious orders were dissolved and the monastery was unoccupied.

The monastery was designed in a style that later became known as Manueline
Manueline
The Manueline, or Portuguese late Gothic, is the sumptuous, composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation of the first decades of the 16th century, incorporating maritime elements and representations of the discoveries brought from the voyages of Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral...

: a richly ornate architectural design that includes complex sculptural themes incorporating maritime elements and objects discovered during naval expeditions, carved in limestone. Diogo de Boitaca
Diogo de Boitaca
Diogo de Boitaca was an influential architect and engineer of some of the most important Portuguese buildings, working in Portugal in the first half of the 16th century.- Biography :...

, the architect, pioneered this style in the Monastery of Jesus
Monastery of Jesus of Setúbal
The Monastery of Jesus is a historical religious building in Setúbal, Portugal. It is one of the first buildings in the Manueline style, the Portuguese version of late Gothic...

 in Setúbal. On this project Boitaca was responsible for the plans and contracting work on the monastery, the sacristy, and the refectory
Refectory
A refectory is a dining room, especially in monasteries, boarding schools and academic institutions. One of the places the term is most often used today is in graduate seminaries...

. He used calcário de lioz, a local gold-coloured limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

, that was quarried from Ajuda
Ajuda
Ajuda is a Portuguese civil parish in the municipality of Lisbon with an area and 17,961 inhabitants ; its density was 5707.3 inhabitants/km².-History:...

, the valley of Alcántara
Alcántara
Alcántara is a municipality in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain, on the Tagus, near Portugal. The toponym is from the Arabic word al-QanTarah meaning "the bridge".-History:...

, Laveiras, Rio Seco and Tercena, for its construction. Boitaca was succeeded by the Spaniard Juan de Castilho, who took charge of construction around 1517. Castilho gradually moved from the Manueline to the Spanish Plateresque
Plateresque
Plateresque, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith" , was an artistic movement, especially architectural, traditionally held to be exclusive to Spain and its territories, which appeared between the late Gothic and early Renaissance in the late 15th century, and spread over the next two centuries...

 style, an ornamentation that included lavish decorations that recall silverware . The construction came to a halt when the King Manuel I died in 1521.

There were several sculptors who made their mark on this building. Nicolau Chanterene
Nicolau Chanterene
Nicolau Chanterene was a French sculptor and architect who worked mainly in Portugal and Spain....

 added depth with hisRenaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 themes. The architect Diogo de Torralva resumed the construction of the monastery in 1550, adding the main chapel, the choir, and completing the two stories of the monastery, using only Renaissance motifs. Diogo de Torralva's work was continued in 1571 by Jérôme de Rouen (also called Jerónimo de Ruão) who added some Classical elements. The construction stopped in 1580 with the union of Spain and Portugal, because the building of the Escorial in Spain was now draining away all the funds.

Kingdom


On 16 July, 1604, Philip of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 (who ruled after the Iberian Union
Iberian Union
The Iberian union was a political unit that governed all of the Iberian Peninsula south of the Pyrenees from 1580–1640, through a dynastic union between the monarchies of Portugal and Spain after the War of the Portuguese Succession...

) made the monastery as a royal funerary monument, prohibiting everyone but the Royal family and the Hieronymite monks from entering the building. A new portal was constructed (1625), the cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

 door, the house of the portsmen, a staircase and a hall that was the entrance to the upper choir, designed by the royal architect Teodósio Frias and executed by the mason Diogo Vaz. In 1640, the monastery's library, by order of the monastery's prior
Prior
Prior is an ecclesiastical title, derived from the Latin adjective for 'earlier, first', with several notable uses.-Monastic superiors:A Prior is a monastic superior, usually lower in rank than an Abbot. In the Rule of St...

 Friar
Friar
A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.-Friars and monks:...

 Bento de Siqueira, was ordered constructed. In this library, the books left by the Infante Luís (son of King Manuel I) and others linked to the religious order were deposited.

The restoration of Portuguese Independence (1640), the monastery regained much of its importance, becoming the burial place for royal pantheon; within its walls four of the eight children of John IV of Portugal
John IV of Portugal
|-|John IV was the King of Portugal and the Algarves from 1640 to his death. He was the grandson of Catherine, Duchess of Braganza, who had in 1580 claimed the Portuguese crown and sparked the struggle for the throne of Portugal. John was nicknamed John the Restorer...

 were entombed: the Infante Teodósio (1634-1653), the Infanta Joana (1636-1653), King Afonso VI (1643-1683) and Catarina de Bragança (1638-1705). But, later, on 29 September 1855, the body of King Afonso VI was transported to the royal pantheon of the House of Braganza
House of Braganza
The Most Serene House of Braganza , an important Portuguese noble family, ruled the Kingdom of Portugal and its colonial Empire, from 1640 to 1910...

, in the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora
Monastery of São Vicente de Fora
The Church or Monastery of São Vicente de Fora; meaning "Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls" is a 17th century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon, in Portugal...

, along with his three brothers and sister. During the reign of King Peter II of Portugal, in 1682, in the transept chapels were buried the bodies of King Sebastian
Sebastian of Portugal
Sebastian "the Desired" was the 16th king of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of Prince John of Portugal and his wife, Joan of Spain...

 and Cardinal Henrique.

In 1663, the Brotherhood of the Senhor dos Passos occupied the old Chapel of Santo António, which is redecorated with a gold tiled ceiling in 1669, and at the same time, the staircase fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

s (with the heraldry of Saint Jerome) are completed (1770). Comparably, in 1709 and 1711, during the reign of John V, the retable
Retable
A retable is a framed altarpiece, raised slightly above the back of the altar or communion table, on which are placed the cross, ceremonial candlesticks and other ornaments....

s were completed; valuable alfaia
Alfaia
"Alfaia" is a Brazilian instrument from the membranophone family, in which the sound is obtained through the strike of a membrane of the instrument. It is a wooden drum of animal skins that are tensioned or loosened through ropes placed alongside the body of the instrument...

s are presented to the religious order; and the sacristy is redecorated in 1713. Also, during this sovreign, in 1720, the painter Henrique Ferreira, was commissioned to paint the Kings of Portugal (from head to toe): the regal series was placed in the rightly named Sala dos Reis (Hall of the Kings). Henrique Ferreira was also commissioned to complete a nativity of paintings.

The monastery withstood the 1755 Lisbon earthquake
1755 Lisbon earthquake
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that took place on Saturday 1 November 1755, at around 9:40 in the morning. The earthquake was followed by fires and a tsunami, which almost totally destroyed Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal, and...

 without too much damage: only the baluster
Baluster
A baluster is a moulded shaft, square or of lathe-turned form, one of various forms of spindle in woodwork, made of stone or wood and sometimes of metal, standing on a unifying footing, and supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail of a staircase. Multiplied in this way, they form a...

 and part of the high choir were ruined, which were quickly repaired.

On 28 December 1833, by decree the State secularized the Jerónimos Monastery and transferred its title to the Pious Royal House of Lisbon , to serve as a parochial church for the new civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém. Many of the artworks and treasures were transferred to the possessions of the crown or lost during this period. It was vacant most time and its condition began to deteriorate.

After 1860, restoration work began on the Monastery, starting with the souther façade by the architect Rafael Silva e Castro, and in 1898 by Domingos Parente da Silva. Although the cloister tank, internal religious cells and the kitchen are demolished at this time, three projects by architect J. Colson to reconstruct the monastery are not approved, including the introduction of revivalist neo-Manueline elements. In 1863, architect Valentim José Correia is hired by the ombudsman of the Casa Pia (Eugénio de Almeida) to re-organize the second-storey of the old dormitory and design the windows (1863-1865). After that he is substituted by Samuel Barret, who constructed the towers in the extreme west of the dormitories. Similarly and unexplainably, Barret was replaced by the Italian scenery designers Rambois and Cinatti (who worked on the theatre designs of the São Carlos Theatre), to continue the remodelling within the monastery in 1867. Between 1867 and 1868, the "scenery designers" reformulated profoundly the annex and façade of the Church, resulting in the monument that is known today. The demolished the gallery and Hall of the Kings, constructed the towers of the eastern dormitory, the rose window
Rose window
A Rose window is often used as a generic term applied to a circular window, but is especially used for those found in churches of the Gothic architectural style and being divided into segments by stone mullions and tracery...

 of the upper choir and substituted the pyramid-shaped roof of the bell-tower with the mitre
Mitre
The mitre , also spelled miter, is a type of headwear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Orthodox...

-shaped design. The remodelling was delayed by the 1878 collapse of the central dormitory. After 1884, Raymundo Valladas began to contribute, initiating in 1886 the restoration of the cloister and Sala da Capítulo, including the construction of vaulted ceiling
Vault (architecture)
A Vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert lateral thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built underground, the ground gives all the resistance required...

. It was in the Sala da Capítulo (in 1888) that the tomb of Alexandre Herculano
Alexandre Herculano
Alexandre Herculano de Carvalho e Araújo , was a Portuguese novelist and historian.-Early life:...

 was placed (its design by Eduardo Augusto da Silva).

To celebrate the Fourth Centenary of the arrival of Vasco da Gama to India (1898), they decide to restore the tomb of the explorer (1894). The tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões (completed by sculpture Costa Mota) were placed in the southern lateral chapel. A year later the monastery received the remains of the poet João de Deus
João de Deus
João de Deus Ramos , better known as João de Deus, the greatest Portuguese poet of his generation, was born in Silves, São Bartolomeu de Messines, in the province of Algarve, son of Pedro José Ramos and wife Isabel Gertrudes Martins...

, later joined by the tombs of Almeida Garret (1902), Sidónio Pais (1918), Guerra Junqueiro (1923) and Teófilo Braga (1924).

Republic


The Minster of Public Works opened a competition to conclude the annex, to serve as the National Museum of Industry and Commerce , and substituted by the Ethnological Museum of Portugal , by decree 20 November 1900.

After 1898, new remodelling would occur at the monastery, including the central annex after Parente da Silva (in 1895), now simplified and the restoration of the cadeiral (the chairs used by the clergy in religious services), which were completed in 1924 by sculpter Costa Mota. In 1938, the organ in the high choir was dismantled, at the same time that a series of stained-glass are replaced in the southern façade (designed by Abel Manta and executed by Ricardo Leone).

As part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of modern Portugal (1939), new remodelling was completed in the monastery and tower. During these projects, the baldachin
Baldachin
A baldachin, or baldaquin , is a canopy of state over an altar or throne. It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals, where such a structure is more correctly called a ciborium when it is...

 and tomb of Alexandre Herculano is dismantled and cloister patio is paved. In 1940, marked by the Portuguese Exposition, the space in front of the monastery is redesigned. The Casa Pia vacates the interior spaces of the cloister and the tombs of Camões and Vasco da Gama are transferred to the lower choir. A series of windows (designed by Rebocho and executed by Alves Mendes) are completed in 1950.

In 1951 the remains of President Óscar Carmona
Óscar Carmona
António Óscar Fragoso Carmona, ComC, GCA, ComSE, was the 11th President of Portugal , having been Minister of War in 1923.-Political Origin:...

 are entombed in the Sala do Capítulo. They would later (1966) be transported to the National Pantheon
Church of Santa Engrácia
The Church of Santa Engrácia is a 17th century monument of the city of Lisbon, in Portugal. In the 20th century the church has been converted into the National Pantheon , in which important Portuguese personalities are buried...

 to join the bodies of the former presidents and literary heroes of the country.

The Marine Museum created in 1909, and the Calouste Gulbenkin
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a Portuguese private foundation of public utility whose statutory aims are in the fields of arts, charity, education, and science...

 Planetary would be installed in the 1962, in the building annexs of the monastery.

Democracy


The church and the monastery, like the nearby Torre de Belém
Belém Tower
Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal...

 and Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a monument on the northern margin of the Tagus River estuary, in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon...

, symbolise the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

 and is among the main tourist attractions of Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

. In 1983, UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 formally designated the Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém
Belém Tower
Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal...

 as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

.

When Portugal joined the European Economic Community, the formal ceremonies were held in the cloister of the monument (1985).

Two great expositions marked the monastery during the 1990s: an exposition, entitled "4 séculos de pintura" , in 1992; and the exposition "Leonardo da Vinci – um homem à escala do mundo, um Mundo à escala do homem" , in 1998 (which included the Leicester Codex, on temporary loan from Bill Gates
Bill Gates
William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen...

).

At the end of the 20th century, remodelling continued with conservation, cleaning and restoration, including the main chapel in 1999 and between 1998-2002 the cloister.

On December 13, 2007, the Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

 was signed at the monastery, laying down the basis for the reform of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

.

Exterior



South portal

The ornate side entrance to the monastery was designed by Juan de Castilho and is considered one of the most significant of his time, but is not, in fact, the main entrance to the building. This shrine-like portal is large, 32 metre high and 12 metre wide, extending two stories. Its ornate features includes an abundance of gable
Gable
A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system being used and aesthetic concerns. Thus the type of roof enclosing the volume dictates the shape of the gable...

s and pinnacle
Pinnacle
A pinnacle is an architectural ornament originally forming the cap or crown of a buttress or small turret, but afterwards used on parapets at the corners of towers and in many other situations. The pinnacle looks like a small spire...

s, with many carved figures standing under a baldachin
Baldachin
A baldachin, or baldaquin , is a canopy of state over an altar or throne. It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals, where such a structure is more correctly called a ciborium when it is...

 in carved niches, around a statue of Henry the Navigator, standing on a pedestal between the two doors.

The tympanum
Tympanum (architecture)
In architecture, a tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculpture or other imagery or ornaments. Most architectural styles include this element....

, above the double door, displays, in half-relief, two scenes from the life of Saint Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

: on the left, the removal of the thorn from the lion's paw and, on the right, the saints experience in the desert. In the spandrel
Spandrel
A spandrel, less often spandril or splaundrel, is the space between two arches or between an arch and a rectangular enclosure....

 between these scenes is the coat-of-arms of king Manuel I, while the archivolt and tympanum are covered in Manueline symbols and elements. The Madonna (Santa Maria de Belém) is located on a pedestal on top of the archivolt
Archivolt
An archivolt is an ornamental molding or band following the curve on the underside of an arch. It is composed of bands of ornamental moldings surrounding an arched opening, corresponding to the architrave in the case of a rectangular opening...

, surmounted by the archangel
Archangel
An archangel is an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism and by most Christians. Michael is the only archangel specifically named in the Protestant Bible...

 Michael
Michael (archangel)
Michael , Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; , Mikhaḗl; or Míchaël; , Mīkhā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael...

, while above the portal there is a cross of the Order of Christ
Order of Christ (Portugal)
The Military Order of Christ previously the Royal Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the heritage of the Knights Templar in Portugal, after the suppression of the Templars in 1312...

. The portal is harmoniously flanked on each side by a large window with richly decorated mouldings.
Axial portal

Although of smaller dimensions then the southern doorway, this is the most important door to the Jerónimos: in terms of its localization in front the main altar and because of its ornamentation. This western portal is a good example of the transition from the Gothic style to Renaissance. It was built by Nicolau Chanterene
Nicolau Chanterene
Nicolau Chanterene was a French sculptor and architect who worked mainly in Portugal and Spain....

 in 1517. This was probably his first commission in Portugal. It is now spanned by a vestibule, added in the 19th century, that forms a transition between the church and the ambulatory
Ambulatory
The ambulatory is the covered passage around a cloister. The term is sometimes applied to the procession way around the east end of a cathedral or large church and behind the high altar....

.

In the tympanum
Tympanum (architecture)
In architecture, a tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculpture or other imagery or ornaments. Most architectural styles include this element....

 there are scenes from the birth of Christ: from the left to right: the Annunciation
Annunciation
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her...

 (of the angel indicating to Maria that she would give birth); the Nativity
Nativity of Jesus
The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

 (the birth of the Christ child); and the Epiphany
Epiphany (Christian)
Epiphany, or Theophany, meaning "vision of God",...

 (the adoration of the magi). Two angels, hold the arms of Portugal, close to the archivolt
Archivolt
An archivolt is an ornamental molding or band following the curve on the underside of an arch. It is composed of bands of ornamental moldings surrounding an arched opening, corresponding to the architrave in the case of a rectangular opening...

. The splays on each side of the portal are filled with statues, among them are statues of King Manuel I and Queen Maria of Aragón kneeling in a niche under a lavishly decorated baldachin, flanked by their patrons: Saint Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 and Saint John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, respectively. The supporting corbel
Corbel
In architecture a corbel is a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger". The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or...

s are decorated with little angels holding the coat-of-arms and, at the side of the king, an armillary sphere and, at the side of the queen, three blooming twigs. This doorway, completed by Nicolau de Chanterene, introduces Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 elements: angels in Roman garb, cherub
Cherub
A cherub is a type of spiritual being mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and cited later on in the Christian biblical canons, usually associated with the presence of God...

s, the detail and realism of the Kings and nude study of Saint Jerome.
Throughout the monastery there are representations of Saint Jerome, in paintings, sculptures and stained-glass. There are three important examples:
  • O Penitente no deserto (The Penitent in the Desert), located in the sub-chorus, near the tomb of Vasco da Gama, showing a emaciated saint in the desert, with a rock in his hand, while meditating in front of a crucifix;
  • O Estudioso na sua cela (The Studious in his Cell), showing the saint seat at his workplace encircled by open books;
  • O Doutor da Igreja (The Doctor in the Church), located in the high-choir, it depicts a solemn Saint Jerome standing in the red robes and hat of a cardinal
    Cardinal (Catholicism)
    A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

    .

In which ever example identified, the saint is always accompanied by a lion and bible.

Interior





Diogo Boitac laid the foundations for this three-aisled church with five bays under a single vault, a clearly marked but only slightly projecting a transept
Transept
For the periodical go to The Transept.A transept is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture...

 and a raised choir. The hall church
Hall church
A hall church is a church with nave and side aisles of approximately equal height, often united under a single immense roof. The term was first coined in the mid-19th century by the pioneering German art historian Wilhelm Lübke....

 layout is composed of aisle
Aisle
An aisle is, in general, a space for walking with rows of seats on both sides or with rows of seats on one side and a wall on the other...

s and nave
Nave
In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...

 that are of equal height. Boitac built the walls of the church as far as the cornices and then started with the construction of the adjoining monastery.

Juan de Castilho, a Spanish architect and sculptor, continued the construction in 1517. He completed the retaining walls and the unique single-span ribbed vault, a combination of stellar vaulting and tracery vaults spanning the 19 metre-wide church. Each set of ribs in the vaulting is secured by bosses. The bold design (1522) of the transversal vault of the transept
Transept
For the periodical go to The Transept.A transept is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture...

 lacks any piers or columns, while Boitac had originally planned three bays in the transept. The transept's unsupported vault gives the visitor the impression that it floats in the air.

Castilho also decorated the six 25 metre-high, slender, articulated, octagonal columns with refined grotesque or floral elements typical of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 style. The construction of this late-Gothic hall is aesthetically and architecturally a masterwork: it augments the spatial effect of this vast building. The northern column closest to the transept there is a medallion that may have been intentionally included as a portrait of Boitac or Juan de Castilho.

At the end of the side aisles and on both sides of the choir are altars (also in the Manueline-style) dating from the 16th and the 17th centuries. They are decorated with carved/sculpted wood and plated in golden and green pigment, one of which supports the image of Saint Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 in multi-coloured enamelled terracotta.

This chancel was ordered by Queen Catherine of Austria as the final resting place for the royal family. It is the work of Jerónimo de Ruão (Jean de Rouen) in the Classical style. The royal tombs rest on marble elephants and are set between Ionic pillars, topped by Corinthian pillars. The tombs on the left side of the choir belong to king Manuel I
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 and his wife Maria of Aragon
Maria of Aragon (1482-1517)
Maria of Aragon was a Spanish infanta and the second wife of Portuguese King Manuel I, thus queen consort of Portugal from her marriage on 30 October 1500 until her death.-Family:She was born at Córdoba on 29 June 1482 as the third surviving daughter of Isabella I of...

, while the tombs on the right side belong to King João III
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

 and his wife Queen Catherine of Austria.

Lower choir


Within the church, in the lower choir, are the stone tombs of Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 (1468–1523), and of the great poet and chronicler of the Age of Discoveries, Luís de Camões
Luís de Camões
Luís Vaz de Camões is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet. His mastery of verse has been compared to that of Shakespeare, Vondel, Homer, Virgil and Dante. He wrote a considerable amount of lyrical poetry and drama but is best remembered for his epic work Os Lusíadas...

 (1527–1570). Both tombs were sculpted by the nineteenth century sculptor Costa Mota in a harmonious neo-Manueline style. The mortal remains of both were transferred to these tombs in 1880.

Monastery


Work on the vast square cloister (55 x 55 m) of the monastery was begun by Boitac. He built the groin vaults with wide arches and windows with tracery
Tracery
In architecture, Tracery is the stonework elements that support the glass in a Gothic window. The term probably derives from the 'tracing floors' on which the complex patterns of late Gothic windows were laid out.-Plate tracery:...

 resting on delicate mullion
Mullion
A mullion is a vertical structural element which divides adjacent window units. The primary purpose of the mullion is as a structural support to an arch or lintel above the window opening. Its secondary purpose may be as a rigid support to the glazing of the window...

s. Juan de Castilho finished the construction by giving the lower storey a classical overlay and building a more recessed upper-storey. The construction of such a cloister was a novelty at the time. Castilho changed the original round columns of Boitac into rectangular ones, and embellished it with Plateresque
Plateresque
Plateresque, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith" , was an artistic movement, especially architectural, traditionally held to be exclusive to Spain and its territories, which appeared between the late Gothic and early Renaissance in the late 15th century, and spread over the next two centuries...

-style ornamentation. Each wing consists of six bays with tracery vaults. The four inner bays rest on massive buttresses, forming broad arcades. The corner bays are linked by a diagonal arched construction and show the richly decorated corner pillars. The cloister had a religious function as well as a representative function by its decorative ornamentation and the dynastic symbolic motives, such as the armillarium, coat-of-arms, and the cross from the Order of Christ
Order of Christ (Portugal)
The Military Order of Christ previously the Royal Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the heritage of the Knights Templar in Portugal, after the suppression of the Templars in 1312...

, showing the growing world power of Portugal.

The inside walls of the cloister have a wealth of Manueline motives with nautical elements, in addition to European, Moorish and Eastern motifs. The round arches and the horizontal structure are clearly in line with the Renaissance style, while at the same time there is also a relationship with Spanish architecture. The decorations on the outer walls of the inner courtyard were made in Plateresco
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 style by Castilho: the arcades include traceried arches that give the construction a filigree
Filigree
Filigree is a delicate kind of jewellery metalwork made with twisted threads usually of gold and silver or stitching of the same curving motifs. It often suggests lace, and in recent centuries remains popular in Indian and other Asian metalwork, and French from 1660 to the late 19th century...

 aspect.

In one of these arcades is the sober tomb of the poet Fernando Pessoa
Fernando Pessoa
Fernando Pessoa, born Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa , was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic and translator described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language.-Early years in Durban:On 13 July...

, while several other tombs in the chapter house contain the remains of the poet and playwright Almeida Garrett
Almeida Garrett
João Baptista da Silva Leitão de Almeida Garrett, Viscount of Almeida Garrett was a Portuguese poet, playwright, novelist and politician. He is considered to be the introducer of the Romanticism in Portugal, with the epic poem Camões, based on the life of Luís de Camões...

 (1799–1854), the writer-historian Alexandre Herculano
Alexandre Herculano
Alexandre Herculano de Carvalho e Araújo , was a Portuguese novelist and historian.-Early life:...

 (1810–1877), former Presidents Teófilo Braga
Teófilo Braga
Joaquim Teófilo Fernandes Braga ]] 24 February 1843 – 28 January 1924) was a Portuguese writer, playwright, politician and the leader of the Republican Provisional Government after the abdication of King Manuel II, as well as the second elected President of the First Portuguese Republic, following...

 (1843–1924) and Óscar Carmona
Óscar Carmona
António Óscar Fragoso Carmona, ComC, GCA, ComSE, was the 11th President of Portugal , having been Minister of War in 1923.-Political Origin:...

 (1869–1951).

The refectory
Refectory
A refectory is a dining room, especially in monasteries, boarding schools and academic institutions. One of the places the term is most often used today is in graduate seminaries...

 across the chapter house has several azulejo
Azulejo
Azulejo from the Arabic word Zellige زليج is a form of Portuguese or Spanish painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tilework. They have become a typical aspect of Portuguese culture, having been produced without interruption for five centuries...

s
tiles from the 17th century.

In an addition added to the monastery after the 1850 Restoration, the Museu Nacional de Arqueologia (National Archaeological Museum) and the Museu da Marinha (Maritime Museum) were established (the west wing).

External links


See also

  • Monasterio de Jerónimos