Wednesday, 15 July 2015

An afternoon visit to Tomar - The Convent of Christ (cont.) - The Chapter House, the Main Cloister, the main Dormitory, the Crossing chapel, the Manueline Window, the Dining Hall and Kitchen, the Cloisters of Micha and of the Crows -The 12th of July 2015


I continued my visit to the Convent of Christ having made my way to the Cloisters and other important chambers within the premises of the Convent.
By walking along the arcades I had a partial glimpse of the Main Cloister  of King John III considered  a major work of Renaissance architecture.

I stopped briefly at the remains of the 1545 Chapter House, with its lower floor having formerly pertained to the Friars' and the upper part to the Knights'.

I continued onto the main Dormitory said to have been finished in 1545 which comprised 40 cells along the Crossing corridors consisting of three "branches" of identical size and placed as in accordance with the cardinal points. The so-called Crossing is the geometric centre of the Convent where the three corridos meet and where there is a Chapel. The 17th century "dado-like" glazed tiles covering the lower part of the corridor walls were worth noting.

I climbed the helicoidal staircase and gained access to the upper part of the Convent from which I could have a majestic view of the Chapter House window which is marked by a masterful complex type of ornamentation incorporating elements related to the seas and the Maritime Discoveries, such as ropes, knots, corals, seaweeds, etc. In the Lower part of the window there is a human face which seems to represent the designer of the window, Diogo Arruda.

Once I finished admiring the upper part I walked down onto the lower part of the Convent where I visited the Dining Hall, the kichen, the Cloister of Micha, where poor people used to come to for begging and the Cloister of the Crows used as a reflection and reading space.


Cloister of Micha

Cloister of the Crows

The Aqueduct

I stopped at the Café of the Convent briefly so as to relax before heading back to town, where the festive procession would soon start.


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