Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Vila Boa do Bispo

Marco de Canaveses, Vila Boa do Bispo - Marco de Canaveses
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Monastery of Saint Mary of Vila Boa do Bispo

Located on a hillside on the left bank of the river Tâmega, Vila Boa do Bispo impresses by its monumentality. These dimensions can be explained by the importance that it held throughout the Medieval and Modern periods, emphasizing the attention given by the feudal power, including the lineage of the Gascos (or of the Ribadouros). Although profoundly changed in the Modern Era, the Romanesque traces help to understand the historical richness of this Monastery. In the main façade, the two blind arcades that flank the portal stand out as being very original and bearing a composition typical of the Romanesque found on the Braga-Rates axis. These and other elements scattered across the structure put this Romanesque building of Vila Boa do Bispo between the 12th and 13th centuries. It is likely that, given the existence of buttresses, the primitive chancel was both quadrangular and vaulted. Another element that recalls the medieval building and its link to the nobility of the region are the remaining tombs which indicate burials in the 13th and 14th centuries. The interior is marked by the Baroque spirit, which, through several techniques and materials, has created a particularly luminous and monumental space. Under the coffered ceiling of the chancel, a set of mural paintings was identified as being from the 16th century, thus emphasizing the culture of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine.

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