The Convent of Christ, Tomar
- Part of Scala’s series on Portugal’s most important historic monuments
- Lavishly illustrated throughout with over 150 images
- The authoritative account of one of Portugal’s most distinguished monastic complexes
The Convent of Christ is one of Portugal’s largest and most distinguished monastic complexes. The Knights Templar began its construction in the twelfth century and it was then handed over to the Order of Christ following the suppression of the Order of the Temple in the fourteenth century. The convent illustrates a sweeping panorama of Portuguese art and architecture, from the groundbreaking Romanesque oratory, inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to the final additions of the Baroque period, by way of the extraordinary Renaissance structures, the most outstanding of which is the Great Cloister, a masterly expression of the renewed taste for the art of the Classical era that swept across Europe. The Chapter House window, built in the earth sixteenth century as part of the programme commissioned by King Manuel, has become the most potent symbol of the so-called ‘Manueline style’. It is also the iconic symbol of the golden age of Portuguese expansion and of the rich and complex cultural scene of the late Middle Ages.