Travanca Monastery

Amarante, Travanca - Amarante


Monastery of the Saviour of Travanca

The Monastery of Travanca impresses by its dimensions, especially the Church, built in the 13th century. Associated with the lineage of the Gascos, a member of which was Egas Moniz, the schoolmaster and governor of king Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was one of the most powerful monastic institutions in Terra de Sousa during the Middle Ages. Outside the three-nave Church, the main portal stands out, split in a protruding body, topped by a cornice on rectangular cantilevers and adorned with corbels [salient support stones] in the shape of bovine heads. The archivolts feature dihedric logs and their capitals are represented with birds with their necks entwined, snakes, human figures and monsters devouring naked men.The north side portal shows a similar composition. The interior is composed of diverse artistic and architectural solutions from the medieval period and later. The sacristy, whose Baroque spirit stands out in the arcades and ceiling paintings, highlights the major reforms initiated in the Modern Age. However, what stands out from the complex is the isolated tower, considered one of the tallest medieval Portuguese towers. Its military appearance is purely symbolic, emphasizing its richly carved portal, whose tympanum features a unique representation of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), raising a pattée cross.

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