Igreja de Santa Maria de Gondar

Amarante, Gondar - Amarante
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Church of Saint Mary of Gondar

Built in the 13th century, the Church of Gondar, once the seat of a small female monastic complex, is located half-way up the slope, in the valley of the river Ovelha. Its foundation and historical route intertwine with the lineage of the Gundares, whose members achieved fame in the region throughout the Middle Ages. Their disappearance was hastened from the extinction of the monastery in 1455. Although there are no traces of the outbuildings of the monastery, the Church of Gondar still attests to its originally monastic nature: the corbels [salient support stones] present in the outer ornaments bear witness to the existence of structures attached to the Church on both sides. The Romanesque design of this Church was almost entirely preserved, despite the transformations it underwent throughout the Modern Age. It falls under the category of “românico de resistência” [resistance Romanesque], as evidenced by the quadrangular corbels and composition of the portals. The main portal has no columns, its archivolts sit on ceiling heights and the tympanum is flat. The only element decorated in this portal is the outer archivolt, with a chequered motif, so typical of the Portuguese Romanesque. The portal is topped by a small oculus consisting of five circles that form a cross.

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