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Mother Church Of Freixo De Espada À Cinta


The Mother Church of Freixo de Espada à Cinta, also known as the Church of St. Michael in honor of the town's patron saint, is located in Praça Jorge Álvares, in the heart of the historic center, and immediately stands out for its monumentality, grandeur, beauty and sobriety. It is a Christian temple of Manueline architecture that has been classified as a National Monument since 1910. The Mother Church was commissioned by King Manuel on the site of an old Gothic temple initially built during the reign of King Sancho II. The building work lasted almost a century and was completed after the Restoration of Independence, during the reign of King João IV. It is characterized by being a 16th century church, rectangular in plan, with three naves, a chancel, apse and sacristy. On the main elevation there is a Manueline portal with a depressed arch, flanked by pilasters and with relief decoration. The interior space suggests a type of hall church with a remarkable and impressive stone vault. It also has Baroque carved altarpieces and, in the chancel, sixteen 16th century panels attributed to the school of Grão Vasco. The exterior is quite austere and compact, with the interior vaulting at the same height. The main portal, flanked by two large buttresses, has a depressed arch and is surmounted by a Manueline decorative composition ending in two glasses, which are the only decorative elements that soften the structural austerity that characterizes the monument. The frame of the side door is attributed to João de Castilho, a Manueline court architect who lived in Freixo de Espada à Cinta. The Mother Church of Freixo de Espada à Cinta is one of the few examples of imposing Manueline architecture in Portugal.


Freixo de Espada à Cinta


Praça Jorge Álvares
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