Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Cárquere

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Monastery of Saint Mary of Cárquere

Of the Romanesque construction of the monastic complex of Cárquere, of which the spatial organization still prevails, nowadays, besides the tower, only the crevice in the funeral chapel of the Resendes remains. Cárquere binds with the feudal power of this family, overlapping history and the legend that credits the foundation of the Monastery to Egas Moniz, the schoolmaster and governor of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, after the miraculous healing of the king's legs. Inside, the crevice in the pantheon of the Resendes presents a geometric ornamentation and, outside, the motifs of the so-called beak-heads [animal heads with a prominent beak]. The capitals feature representations of birds. The images of the Virgin of Cárquere and of the Virgin of Milk also remain from Medieval Times. The former has raised people's curiosity by its size and, especially, for having been found, according to legend, in the wilderness where, later on, the Monastery would be founded. The Church's structure is a blend of various styles: the ribbed vault and the chancel window are of Gothic nature, and the arrangement of main and north-side portals comprises the “Manueline style” (Portuguese late Gothic). The remaining mural paintings on the nave are from the same “Manueline” period and represent Saint Anthony and Saint Lucia and a set of fluttering angels.

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