The Hieronymites Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Portuguese pronunciation: [muʃˈtɐjɾu duʃ ʒɨˈɾɔnimuʃ]) is located near the shore of the parish of Belém, in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. The monastery is one of the most prominent monuments of the Manueline-style architecture (Portuguese late-Gothic) in Lisbon, classified in 1983 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Tower of Belém. Contents
1 History 1.1 Middle Age 1.2 Kingdom 1.3 Republic 1.4 Democracy 2 Architecture 2.1 Church of Santa Maria 2.1.1 Exterior 184.108.40.206 South portal 220.127.116.11 Axial portal 2.1.2 Interior 2.1.3 Lower choir 2.2 Monastery 3 References 4 External links 5 See also
History The fountains in the Praça do Império, with symbols from the zodiac in the calçada The entrance to the main Church and Cloister
Originally, the home for the Hieronymite religious order, was built by the Infante Henry the Navigator around 1459. The chapel that existed there, to the invocation of Santa Maria de Belém, was serviced by monks of the military-religious Order of Christ who provided assistance to pilgrims who transited the area. The small beach of Praia do Restelo was an advantage spot, with safe anchorage and protection from the winds,sought after by the ships that entered the Tagus. The Hermitage of Restelo (Portuguese: Ermida do Restelo), as it was known, was already a hermitage in disrepair, when Vasco da Gama and his men spent the night in prayer before departing on their expedition to the Orient in 1497.
The existing structure was started on the orders of Manuel I (1469–1521) at the courts of Montemor-o-Velho in 1495, as a final resting-place for members of the House of Aviz-Beja, in his belief that an Iberian dynastic kingdom would rule after his death. In 1496, King Manuel petitioned the Holy See for permission to construct a monastery at the entrance of Lisbon, along the margins of the Tagus River. It was after the arrival of Vasco da Gama, a year later, bringing with him samples of gold he discovered, that the monastery became a representation of Portuguese expansionism, and that the church became a house of prayer for seamen leaving or entering port. Middle Age
The construction of the monastery and church began on 6 January 1501 (and were completed 100 years later). King Manuel originally funded the project with money obtained from the Vintena da Pimenta, a 5% tax on commerce from Africa and the Orient, equivalent to 70 kilograms (150 lb) of gold per year, with the exception of pepper, cinnamon and cloves (which went directly to the Crown. With the influx of riches, the architects were not limited to small plans, and resources already prescribed for the Monastery of Batalha (including the Aviz pantheon) were redirected to the project in Belém.
Manuel I selected the religious order of Hieronymite monks to occupy the monastery, whose role it was to pray for the King's eternal soul and to provide spiritual assistance to navigators and sailors who departed from the beach of Restelo to discover the world. This the monks did until 1833 (over four centuries), when the religious orders were dissolved and the monastery was unoccupied.
The monastery was designed in a style that later became known as Manueline: a richly ornate architectural design that includes complex sculptural themes incorporating maritime elements and objects discovered during naval expeditions, carved in limestone. Diogo de Boitaca, the architect, pioneered this style in the Monastery of Jesus in Setúbal. On this project Boitaca was responsible for the plans and contracting work on the monastery, the sacristy, and the refectory. He used calcário de lioz, a local gold-coloured limestone, that was quarried from Ajuda, the valley of Alcántara, Laveiras, Rio Seco and Tercena, for its construction. Boitaca was succeeded by the Spaniard Juan de Castilho, who took charge of construction around 1517. Castilho gradually moved from the Manueline to the Spanish Plateresque style, an ornamentation that included lavish decorations that recall silverware (Spanish: plata). The construction came to a halt when the King Manuel I died in 1521.
There were several sculptors who made their mark on this building. Nicolau Chanterene added depth with hisRenaissance themes. The architect Diogo de Torralva resumed the construction of the monastery in 1550, adding the main chapel, the choir, and completing the two stories of the monastery, using only Renaissance motifs. Diogo de Torralva's work was continued in 1571 by Jérôme de Rouen (also called Jerónimo de Ruão) who added some Classical elements. The construction stopped in 1580 with the union of Spain and Portugal, because the building of the Escorial in Spain was now draining away all the funds. Kingdom
On 16 July 1604, Philip of Spain (who ruled after the Iberian Union) made the monastery as a royal funerary monument, prohibiting everyone but the Royal family and the Hieronymite monks from entering the building. A new portal was constructed (1625), the cloister door, the house of the portsmen, a staircase and a hall that was the entrance to the upper choir, designed by the royal architect Teodósio Frias and executed by the mason Diogo Vaz. In 1640, the monastery's library, by order of the monastery's prior Friar Bento de Siqueira, was ordered constructed. In this library, the books left by the Infante Luís (son of King Manuel I) and others linked to the religious order were deposited.
The restoration of Portuguese Independence (1640), the monastery regained much of its importance, becoming the burial place for royal pantheon; within its walls four of the eight children of John IV of Portugal were entombed: the Infante Teodósio (1634–1653), the Infanta Joana (1636–1653), King Afonso VI (1643–1683) and Catarina de Bragança (1638–1705). But, later, on 29 September 1855, the body of King Afonso VI was transported to the royal pantheon of the House of Braganza, in the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, along with his three brothers and sister. During the reign of King Peter II of Portugal, in 1682, in the transept chapels were buried the bodies of King Sebastian and Cardinal Henrique.
In 1663, the Brotherhood of the Senhor dos Passos occupied the old Chapel of Santo António, which is redecorated with a gold tiled ceiling in 1669, and at the same time, the staircase frescos (with the heraldry of Saint Jerome) are completed (1770). Comparably, in 1709 and 1711, during the reign of John V, the retables were completed; valuable alfaias are presented to the religious order; and the sacristy is redecorated in 1713. Also, during this sovereign, in 1720, the painter Henrique Ferreira, was commissioned to paint the Kings of Portugal (from head to toe): the regal series was placed in the rightly named Sala dos Reis (English: Hall of the Kings). Henrique Ferreira was also commissioned to complete a nativity of paintings.
The monastery withstood the 1755 Lisbon earthquake without too much damage: only the baluster and part of the high choir were ruined, which were quickly repaired.
On 28 December 1833, by decree the State secularized the Jerónimos Monastery and transferred its title to the Pious Royal House of Lisbon (Portuguese: Real Casa Pia de Lisboa), to serve as a parochial church for the new civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém. Many of the artworks and treasures were transferred to the possessions of the crown or lost during this period. It was vacant most time and its condition began to deteriorate.
After 1860, restoration work began on the Monastery, starting with the souther façade by the architect Rafael Silva e Castro, and in 1898 by Domingos Parente da Silva. Although the cloister tank, internal religious cells and the kitchen are demolished at this time, three projects by architect J. Colson to reconstruct the monastery are not approved, including the introduction of revivalist neo-Manueline elements. In 1863, architect Valentim José Correia is hired by the ombudsman of the Casa Pia (Eugénio de Almeida) to re-organize the second-storey of the old dormitory and design the windows (1863–1865). After that he is substituted by Samuel Barret, who constructed the towers in the extreme west of the dormitories. Similarly and unexplainably, Barret was replaced by the Italian scenery designers Rambois and Cinatti (who worked on the theatre designs of the São Carlos Theatre), to continue the remodelling within the monastery in 1867. Between 1867 and 1868, the "scenery designers" reformulated profoundly the annex and façade of the Church, resulting in the monument that is known today. The demolished the gallery and Hall of the Kings, constructed the towers of the eastern dormitory, the rose window of the upper choir and substituted the pyramid-shaped roof of the bell-tower with the mitre-shaped design. The remodelling was delayed by the 1878 collapse of the central dormitory. After 1884, Raymundo Valladas began to contribute, initiating in 1886 the restoration of the cloister and Sala da Capítulo, including the construction of vaulted ceiling. It was in the Sala da Capítulo (in 1888) that the tomb of Alexandre Herculano was placed (its design by Eduardo Augusto da Silva).
To celebrate the Fourth Centenary of the arrival of Vasco da Gama to India (1898), they decide to restore the tomb of the explorer (1894). The tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões (completed by sculpture Costa Mota) were placed in the southern lateral chapel. A year later the monastery received the remains of the poet João de Deus, later joined by the tombs of Almeida Garret (1902), Sidónio Pais (1918), Guerra Junqueiro (1923) and Teófilo Braga (1924). Republic The official picture taken after the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in front of the South Portal
The Minster of Public Works (Portuguese: Ministério das Obras Públicas) opened a competition to conclude the annex, to serve as the National Museum of Industry and Commerce (Portuguese: Museu Nacional da Indústria e Comércio, but the project was canceled (in 1899), and substituted by the Ethnological Museum of Portugal (Portuguese: Museu Etnológico Português), by decree 20 November 1900.
After 1898, new remodelling would occur at the monastery, including the central annex after Parente da Silva (in 1895), now simplified and the restoration of the cadeiral (the chairs used by the clergy in religious services), which were completed in 1924 by sculpter Costa Mota. In 1938, the organ in the high choir was dismantled, at the same time that a series of stained-glass are replaced in the southern façade (designed by Abel Manta and executed by Ricardo Leone).
As part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of modern Portugal (1939), new remodelling was completed in the monastery and tower. During these projects, the baldachin and tomb of Alexandre Herculano is dismantled and cloister patio is paved. In 1940, marked by the Portuguese Exposition, the space in front of the monastery is redesigned. The Casa Pia vacates the interior spaces of the cloister and the tombs of Camões and Vasco da Gama are transferred to the lower choir. A series of windows (designed by Rebocho and executed by Alves Mendes) are completed in 1950.
In 1951 the remains of President Óscar Carmona are entombed in the Sala do Capítulo. They would later (1966) be transported to the National Pantheon to join the bodies of the former presidents and literary heroes of the country.
The Marine Museum (Portuguese: Museu da Marinha) created in 1909, and the Calouste Gulbenkin Planetary would be installed in the 1962, in the building annexs of the monastery. Democracy
The church and the monastery, like the nearby Torre de Belém and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, symbolise the Portuguese Age of Discovery and is among the main tourist attractions of Lisbon. In 1983, UNESCO formally designated the Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém as a World Heritage Site.
When Portugal joined the European Economic Community, the formal ceremonies were held in the cloister of the monument (1985).
Two great expositions marked the monastery during the 1990s: an exposition, entitled "4 séculos de pintura" (Portuguese: Four Centuries of Paintings), in 1992; and the exposition "Leonardo da Vinci – um homem à escala do mundo, um Mundo à escala do homem" (Portuguese: Leonardo da Vinci: A Man at the World's Scale, A World at the Scale of Man), in 1998 (which included the Leicester Codex, on temporary loan from Bill Gates).
At the end of the 20th century, remodelling continued with conservation, cleaning and restoration, including the main chapel in 1999 and between 1998-2002 the cloister.
On December 13, 2007, the Treaty of Lisbon was signed at the monastery, laying down the basis for the reform of the European Union.