Portuguese Architecture
by Walter Crum Watson
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[Note of transcriber: $ is used to indicate the cifrao, symbol for escudos. Where [= ] surrounds a letter it indicates that the letter was written with a line above it.]









Edinburgh: T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty



The buildings of Portugal, with one or two exceptions, cannot be said to excel or even to come up to those of other countries. To a large extent the churches are without the splendid furniture which makes those of Spain the most romantic in the world, nor are they in themselves so large or so beautiful. Some apology, then, may seem wanted for imposing on the public a book whose subject-matter is not of first-class importance.

The present book is the outcome of visits to Portugal in April or May of three successive years; and during these visits the writer became so fond of the country and of its people, so deeply interested in the history of its glorious achievements in the past, and in the buildings which commemorate these great deeds, that it seemed worth while to try and interest others in them. Another reason for writing about Portugal instead of about Spain is that the country is so much smaller that it is no very difficult task to visit every part and see the various buildings with one's own eyes: besides, in no language does there exist any book dealing with the architecture of the country as a whole. There are some interesting monographs in Portuguese about such buildings as the palace at Cintra, or Batalha, while the Renaissance has been fully treated by Albrecht Haupt, but no one deals at all adequately with what came before the time of Dom Manoel.

Most of the plans in the book were drawn from rough measurements taken on the spot and do not pretend to minute accuracy.

For the use of that of the Palace at Cintra the thanks of the writer are due to Conde de Sabugosa, who allowed it to be copied from his book, while the plan of Mafra was found in an old magazine.

Thanks are also due to Senhor Joaquim de Vasconcellos for much valuable information, to his wife, Senhora Michaelis de Vasconcellos, for her paper about the puzzling inscriptions at Batalha, and above all the Baron and the Baroneza de Soutellinho, for their repeated welcome to Oporto and for the trouble they have taken in getting books and photographs.

That the book may be more complete there has been added a short account of some of the church plate and paintings which still survive, as well as of the tile work which is so universal and so characteristic.

As for the buildings, hardly any of any consequence have escaped notice.





Portugal separated from Spain by no natural division geographical or linguistic; does not correspond with Roman Lusitania, nor with the later Suevic kingdom—Traces of early Celtic inhabitants; Citania, Sabrosa—Roman Occupation; Temple at Evora—Barbarian Invasions—Arab Conquest—Beginnings of Christian re-conquest—Sesnando, first Count of Oporto—Christians defeated at Zalaca—Count Henry of Burgundy and Dona Theresa—Beginnings of Portuguese Independence—Affonso Henriques, King of Portugal—Growth of Portugal—Victory of Aljubarrota—Prince Henry the Navigator—The Spanish Usurpation—The Great Earthquake—The Peninsular War—The Miguelite War—The suppression of the Monasteries—Differences between Portugal and Spain, etc. 1-10


Not very many examples of Portuguese paintings left—Early connection with Burgundy; and with Antwerp—Great influence of Flemish school—The myth of Grao Vasco—Pictures at Evora, at Thomar, at Setubal, in Santa Cruz, Coimbra—'The Fountain of Mercy' at Oporto—The pictures at Vizeu: 'St. Peter'—Antonio de Hollanda 10-17


Much plate lost during the Peninsular War—Treasuries of Braga, Coimbra, and Evora, and of Guimaraes—Early chalices, etc., at Braga, Coimbra, and Guimaraes—Crosses at Guimaraes and at Coimbra—Relics of St. Isabel—Flemish influence seen in later work—Tomb of St. Isabel, and coffins of sainted abbesses of Lorvao 17-20


Due to Arab influence—The word azulejo and its origin—The different stages in the development of tile making—Early tiles at Cintra Moorish in pattern and in technique—Tiles at Bacalhoa Moorish in technique but Renaissance in pattern—Later tiles without Moorish technique, e.g. at Santarem and elsewhere—Della Robbia ware at Bacalhoa—Pictures in blue and white tiles very common 20-28



The oldest buildings are in the North—Very rude and simple—Three types—Villarinho—Sao Miguel, Guimaraes—Cedo Feita, Oporto—Gandara, Boelhe, etc., are examples of the simplest—Aguas Santas, Rio Mau, etc., of the second; and of the third Villar de Frades, etc.—Legend of Villar—Se, Braga—Se, Oporto—Paco de Souza—Method of roofing—Tomb of Egas Moniz—Pombeiro—Castle and Church, Guimaraes 29-43



Growth of Christian kingdom under Affonso Henriques—His vow—Capture of Santarem, of Lisbon—Cathedral, Lisbon, related to Church of S. Sernin, Toulouse—Ruined by Great Earthquake, and badly restored—Se Velha, Coimbra, general scheme copied from Santiago and so from S. Sernin, Toulouse—Other churches at Coimbra—Evora, its capture—Cathedral founded—Similar in scheme to Lisbon, but with pointed arches; central lantern; cloister—Thomar founded by Gualdim Paes; besieged by Moors—Templar Church—Santarem, Church of Sao Joao de Alporao—Alcobaca; great wealth of Abbey—Designed by French monks—Same plan as Clairvaux—Has but little influence on later buildings 44-63



The thirteenth century poor in buildings—The Franciscans—Sao Francisco Guimaraes—Santarem—Santa Maria dos Olivaes at Thomar—Cf. aisle windows at Leca do Balio—Inactivity and deposition of Dom Sancho II. by Dom Affonso III.—Conquest of Algarve—Se, Silves—Dom Diniz and the castles at Beja and at Leiria—Cloisters, Cellas, Coimbra, Alcobaca, Lisbon, and Oporto—St. Isabel and Sta. Clara at Coimbra—Leca do Balio—The choir of the cathedral, Lisbon, with tombs—Alcobaca, royal tombs—Dom Pedro I. and Inez de Castro; her murder, his sorrow—Their tombs 64-78



Dom Fernando and Dona Leonor Telles—Her wickedness and unpopularity—Their daughter, Dona Brites, wife of Don Juan of Castile, rejected—Dom Joao I. elected king—Battle of Aljubarrota—Dom Joao's vow—Marriage of Dom Joao and Philippa of Lancaster—Batalha founded; its plan national, not foreign; some details seem English, some French, some even German—Huguet the builder did not copy York or Canterbury—Tracery very curious—Inside very plain—Capella do Fundador, with the royal tombs—Capellas Imperfeitas 79-92



Nossa Senhora da Oliveira Guimaraes rebuilt as a thankoffering—Silver reredos captured at Aljubarrota—The cathedral, Guarda—Its likeness to Batalha—Nave later—Nuno Alvarez Pereira, the Grand Constable, and the Carmo, Lisbon—Joao Vicente and Villar de Frades—Alvito, Matriz—Capture of Ceuta—Tombs in the Graca, Santarem—Dom Pedro de Menezes and his 'Aleo'—Tomb of Dom Duarte de Menezes in Sao Joao de Alporao—Tombs at Abrantes cloister—Thomar 93-103



Graca, Santarem—Parish churches, Thomar, Villa do Conde, Azurara and Caminha, all similar in plan—Cathedrals: Funchal, Lamego, and Vizeu—Porch and chancel of cathedral, Braga—Conceicao, Braga 104-115



Few buildings older than the re-conquest—But many built for Christians by Moors—The Palace, Cintra—Originally country house of the Walis—Rebuilt by Dom Joao I.—Plan and details Moorish—Entrance court—Sala dos Cysnes, why so called, its windows; Sala do Conselho; Sala das Pegas, its name, chimney-piece; Sala das Sereias; dining-room; Pateo, baths; Sala dos Arabes; Pateo de Diana; chapel; kitchen—Castles at Guimaraes and at Barcellos—Villa de Feira 116-128



Commoner in Alemtejo—Castle, Alvito—Not Sansovino's Palace—Evora, Pacos Reaes, Cordovis, Sempre Nova, Sao Joao Evangelista, Sao Francisco, Sao Braz 129-135



Examples found all over the country—At Aguas Santas, Azurara, Caminha and Funchal—Cintra, Sala dos Cysnes, Sala dos Escudos—Coimbra, Misericordia, hall of University—Ville do Conde Santa Clara, Aveiro convent 136-142



Joao II. continues the policy of Prince Henry the Navigator—Bartholomeu Diaz, Vasco da Gama—Accession of Dom Manoel—Discovery of route to India, and of Brazil—Great wealth of King—Fails to unite all the kingdoms of the Peninsula—Characteristic features of Manoelino—House of Garcia de Resende, Evora—Caldas da Rainha—Setubal, Jesus—Beja, Conceicao, Castle, etc.—Cintra, Palace—Gollega, Church—Elvas, Cathedral—Santarem, Marvilla—Lisbon, Madre de Deus—Coimbra, University Chapel—Setubal, Sao Juliao 143-156



Vasco da Gama's successful voyage to Calicut, 1497—Other expeditions lead to discovery of Brazil—Titles conferred on Dom Manoel by Pope Alexander VI.—Ormuz taken—Strange forms at Thomar not Indian—Templars suppressed and Order of Christ founded instead—Prince Henry Grand Master—Spiritual supremacy of Thomar over all conquests, made or to be made—Templar church added to by Prince Henry, and more extensively by Dom Manoel—Joao de Castilho builds Coro—Stalls burnt by French—South door, chapter-house and its windows—Much of the detail emblematic of the discoveries, etc., made in the East and in the West 157-170



Dom Duarte's tomb-house unfinished—Work resumed by Dom Manoel—The two Matheus Fernandes, architects—The Pateo—The great entrance—Meaning of 'Tanyas Erey'—Piers in Octagon—How was the Octagon to be roofed?—The great Cloister, with its tracery—Whence derived 171-180



Torre de Sao Viente built to defend Lisbon—Turrets and balconies not Indian—Vasco da Gama sails from Belem—The great monastery built as a thankoffering for the success of his voyage—Begun by Boutaca, succeeded by Lourenco Fernandes, and then by Joao de Castilho—Plan due to Boutaca—Master Nicolas, the Frenchman, the first renaissance artist in Portugal—Plan: exterior; interior superior to exterior; stalls; cloister, lower and upper—Lisbon, Conceicao Velha, also by Joao de Castilho 181-195



Coimbra, Sta. Cruz, founded by Dom Affonso Henriques, rebuilt by Dom Manoel, first architect Marcos Pires—Gregorio Lourenco clerk of the works—Diogo de Castilho succeeds Marcos Pires—West front, Master Nicolas—Cloister, inferior to that of Belem—Royal tombs—Other French carvers—Pulpit, reredoses in cloister, stalls—Se Velha reredos, doors—Chapel of Sao Pedro 196-210



Tomb at Thomar of the Bishop of Funchal—Tomb in Graca, Santarem—Sao Marcos, founded by Dona Brites de Menezes—Tomb of Fernao Telles—Rebuilt by Ayres da Silva, her grandson—Tombs in chancel—Reredos, by Master Nicolas—Reredos at Cintra—Pena Chapel by same—Sao Marcos, Chapel of the Reyes Magos—Sansovino's door, Cintra—Evora, Sao Domingos—Portalegre, Tavira, Lagos, Goes, Trofa, Caminha, Moncorvo 211-221



Joao III. cared more for the Church than for anything else—Decay begins—Later additions to Alcobaca—Batalha, Sta. Cruz—Thomar, Order of Christ reformed—Knights become regulars—Great additions, cloisters, dormitory, etc., by Joao de Castilho—His difficulties, letters to the King—His addition to Batalha—Builds Conceicao at Thomar like Milagre, Santarem—Marvilla, ibid.; Elvas, Sao Domingos—Cintra, Penha Longa and Penha Verde—Vizeu, Cloister—Lamego, Cloister—Coimbra, Sao Thomaz—Carmo—Faro—Lorvao—Amarante—Santarem, Santa Clara, and Guarda, reredos 222-239



Diogo de Torralva and Claustro dos Filippes, Thomar—Miranda de Douro—Reigns of Dom Sebastiao and of the Cardinal King Henry not noted for much building—Evora, Graca and University—Fatal expedition by Dom Sebastiao to Morocco—His death and defeat—Feeble reign of his grand-uncle—Election of Philip—Union with Spain and consequent loss of trade—Lisbon, Sao Roque; coming of Terzi—Lisbon, Sao Vicente de Fora; first use of very long Doric pilasters—Santo Antao, Santa Maria do Desterro, and Torreao do Paco—Se Nova, Coimbra, like Santo Antao—Oporto, Collegio Novo—Coimbra, Misericordia, Bishop's palace; Sacristy of Se Velha, Sao Domingos, Carmo, Graca, Sao Bento by Alvares—Lisbon, Sao Bento—Oporto, Sao Bento 240-253



Vianna do Castello, Misericordia—Beja, Sao Thiago—Azeitao, Sao Simao—Evora, Cartuxa—Beja, Misericordia—Oporto, Nossa Senhora da Serra do Pilar—Sheltered Wellington before he crossed the Douro—Besieged by Dom Miguel—Very original plan—Coimbra, Sacristy of Santa Cruz—Lisbon, Santa Engracia never finished—Doric pilasters too tall—Coimbra, Santa Clara, great abuse of Doric pilasters 254-260



The expulsion of the Spaniards—Long war: final success of Portugal and recovered prosperity—Mafra founded by Dom Joao V.—Compared with the Escorial—Designed by a German—Palace, church, library, etc.—Evora, Capella Mor—Great Earthquake—The Marques de Pombal—Lisbon, Estrella—Oporto, Torre dos Clerigos—Oporto, Quinta do Freixo—Queluz—Quinta at Guimaraes—Oporto, hospital and factory—Defeat of Dom Miguel and suppression of monasteries 261-271




To face page 1. Guimaraes, House from Sabrosa } 4 2. Evora, Temple of 'Diana' } 3. Oporto, Fountain of Mercy 14 4. Vizeu, St. Peter, in Sacristy of Cathedral 16 5. Coimbra, Cross in Cathedral Treasury } 6. " Chalice " " } 20 7. " Monstrance " " } 8. Cintra, Palace, Sala dos Arabes } 24 9. " " Dining-room } 10. Santarem, Marvilla, coloured wall tiles } frontispiece. 11. " " } 12. Vallarinho, Parish Church } 32 13. Villar de Frades, West Door } 14. Paco de Souza, Interior of Church } 40 15. " " Tomb of Egas Moniz } 16. Guimaraes, N. S. da Oliveira, Chapter-house Entrance } 42 17. Leca do Balio, Cloister } 18. Coimbra, Se Velha, Interior } 50 19. " " West Front } 20. Evora, Cathedral, Interior } 54 21. " " Central Lantern } 22. Evora, Cloister } 56 23. Thomar, Templar Church } 24. Santarem, Sao Joao de Alporao } 58 25. Alcobaca, South Transept } 26. Santarem, Sao Francisco, West Door } 66 27. Silves, Cathedral, Interior } 28. Alcobaca Cloister } 72 29. Lisbon, Cathedral Cloister } 30. Coimbra, Sta. Clara 74 31. Alcobaca, Chapel with Royal Tombs } 78 32. " Tomb of Dom Pedro I. } 33. Batalha, West Front 86 34. Batalha, Interior } 88 35. " Capella do Fundador } 36. Batalha, Capellas Imperfeitas 92 37. Guimaraes, Capella of D. Juan I. of Castile } 94 38. Guarda, North Side of Cathedral } 39. Santarem, Tomb of Dom Pedro de Menezes } 102 40. " Tomb of Dom Duarte de Menezes } 41. Villa do Conde, West Front of Parish Church 108 42. Vizeu, Interior of Cathedral } 112 43. Braga, Cathedral Porch } 44. Cintra, Palace, Main Front } 120 45. " " Window in 'Sala das Sereias' } 46. Cintra, Palace, Ceiling of Chapel 126 47. Alvito, Castle } 132 48. Evora, Sao Joao Evangelista, Door to Chapter-house } 49. Caminha, Roof of Matriz } 138 50. Cintra, Palace, Ceiling of Sala dos Cysnes } 51. Coimbra, University, Ceiling of Sala dos Capellos 142 52. Cintra, Palace, additions by D. Manoel 152 53. Santarem, Marvilla, West Door } 154 54. Coimbra, University Chapel Door } 55. Thomar, Convent of Christ, South Door } 166 56. " " " Chapter-house Window } 57. Batalha, Entrance to Capellas Imperfeitas 174 58. Batalha, Window of Pateo } 178 59. " Upper part of Capellas Imperfeitas } 60. Batalha, Claustro Real } 180 61. Batalha, Lavatory in Claustro Real } 62. Belem, Torre de Sao Vicente } 184 63. Belem, Sacristy } 64. Belem, South side of Nave } 190 65. " Interior, looking west } 66. Belem, Cloister } 194 67. " Interior of Lower Cloister } 68. Lisbon, Conceicao Velha 196 69. Coimbra, Sta. Cruz, West Front } 200 70. " " Cloister } 71. Coimbra, Sta. Cruz, Tomb of D. Sancho I. } 202 72. " " Pulpit } 73. Coimbra, Sta. Cruz, Reredos in Cloister } 206 74. " " Choir Stalls } 75. Coimbra, Se Velha, Reredos } 209 76. " " Reredos in Chapel of Sao Pedro} 77. Thomar, Sta. Maria dos Olivaes, Tomb of the Bishop of Funchal } 212 78. Sao Marcos, Tomb of D. Joao da Silva } 79. Sao Marcos, Chancel } 218 80. " Chapel of the 'Reyes Magos' } 81. Cintra, Palace, Door by Sansovino } 220 82. Caminha, West Door of Church } 83. Alcobaca, Sacristy Door } 224 84. Batalha, Door of Sta. Cruz } 85. Thomar, Claustro da Hospedaria } 228 86. " Chapel in Dormitory Passage } 87. Thomar, Stair in Claustro dos Filippes } 230 88. " Chapel of the Conceicao } 89. Santarem, Marvilla, Interior } 236 90. Vizeu, Cathedral Cloister } 91. Guarda, Cathedral Reredos } 240 92. Thomar, Claustro dos Filippes } 93. Lisbon, Sao Vicente de Fora } 246 94. " " " Interior } 95. Coimbra, Se Nova } 250 96. " Misericordia } 97. Vianna do Castello, Misericordia 254 98. Oporto, N. S. da Serra do Pilar, Cloister} 258 99. Coimbra, Sta. Cruz, Sacristy } 100. Mafra, West Front } 266 101. " Interior of Church }


No one can look at a map of the Iberian Peninsula without being struck by the curious way in which it is unequally divided between two independent countries. Spain occupies by far the larger part of the Peninsula, leaving to Portugal only a narrow strip on the western seaboard some one hundred miles wide and three hundred and forty long. Besides, the two countries are separated the one from the other by merely artificial boundaries. The two largest rivers of the Peninsula, the Douro and the Tagus, rise in Spain, but finish their course in Portugal, and the Guadiana runs for some eighty miles through Portuguese territory before acting for a second time as a boundary between the two countries. The same, to a lesser degree, is true of the mountains. The Gerez and the Marao are only offshoots of the Cantabrian mountains, and the Serra da Estrella in Beira is but a continuation of the Sierra de Gata which separates Leon from Spanish Estremadura. Indeed the only natural frontiers are formed by the last thirty miles of the Minho in the north, by about eighty miles of the Douro, which in its deep and narrow gorge really separates Traz os Montes from Leon; by a few miles of the Tagus, and by the Guadiana both before and after it runs through a part of Alemtejo.

If the languages of the two countries were radically unlike this curious division would be more easy to understand, but in reality Castilian differs from Portuguese rather in pronunciation than in anything else; indeed differs less from Portuguese than it does from Catalunan.[1]

During the Roman dominion none of the divisions of the Peninsula corresponded exactly with Portugal. Lusitania, which the poets of the Renaissance took to be the Roman name of their country, only reached up to the Douro, and took in a large part of Leon and the whole of Spanish Estremadura.

In the time of the Visigoths, a Suevic kingdom occupied most of Portugal to the north of the Tagus, but included also all Galicia and part of Leon; and during the Moorish occupation there was nothing which at all corresponded with the modern divisions.

It was, indeed, only by the gradual Christian re-conquest of the country from the Moors that Portugal came into existence, and only owing to the repeated failure of the attempt to unite the two crowns of Portugal and Castile by marriage that they have remained separated to the present day.

Of the original inhabitants of what is now Portugal little is known, but that they were more Celtic than Iberian seems probable from a few Celtic words which have survived, such as Mor meaning great as applied to the Capella Mor of a church or to the title of a court official. The name too of the Douro has probably nothing to do with gold but is connected with a Celtic word for water. The Tua may mean the 'gushing' river, and the Ave recalls the many Avons. Ebora, now Evora, is very like the Roman name of York, Eboracum. Briga, too, the common termination of town names in Roman times as in Conimbriga—Condeixa a Velha—or Cetobriga, near Setubal—in Celtic means height or fortification. All over the country great rude stone monuments are to be found, like those erected by primitive peoples in almost every part of Europe, and the most interesting, the curious buildings found at various places near Guimaraes, seem to belong to a purely Celtic civilisation.

The best-known of these places, now called Citania—from a name of a native town mentioned by ancient writers—occupies the summit of a hill about nine hundred feet above the road and nearly half-way between Guimaraes and Braga. The top of this hill is covered with a number of structures, some round from fifteen to twenty feet across, and some square, carefully built of well-cut blocks of granite. The only opening is a door which is often surrounded by an architrave adorned with rough carving; the roofs seem to have been of wood and tiles.

Some, not noticing the three encircling walls and the well-cut water-channels, and thinking that the round buildings far exceeded the rectangular in number, have thought that they might have been intended for granaries where corn might be stored against a time of war. But it seems far more likely that Citania was a town placed on this high hill for safety. Though the remains show no other trace of Roman civilisation, one or two of the houses are inscribed with their owner's names in Roman character, and from coins found there they seem to have been inhabited long after the surrounding valleys had been subdued by the Roman arms, perhaps even after the great baths had been built not far off at the hot springs of Taipas. Uninfluenced by Rome, Citania was also untouched by Christianity, though it may have been inhabited after St. James—if indeed he ever preached in Bracara Augusta, now Braga—and his disciple Sao Pedro de Rates had begun their mission.

But if Citania knew nothing of Christianity there still remains one remarkable monument of the native religion. Among the ruins there long lay a huge thin slab of granite, now in the museum of Guimaraes, which certainly has the appearance of having been a sacrificial stone. It is a rough pentagon with each side measuring about five feet. On one side, in the middle, a semicircular hollow has been cut out as if to leave room for the sacrificing priest, while on the surface of the stone a series of grooves has been cut, all draining to a hole near this hollow and arranged as if for a human body with outstretched legs and arms. The rest of the surface is covered with an intricate pattern like what may often be found on Celtic stones in Scotland. Besides this so-called Citania similar buildings have been found elsewhere, as at Sabrosa, also near Guimaraes, but there the Roman influence seems usually to have been greater. (Fig. 1.)

The Romans began to occupy the Peninsula after the second Punic war, but the conquest of the west and north was not completed till the reign of Augustus more than two hundred years later. The Roman dominion over what is now Portugal lasted for over four hundred years, and the chief monument of their occupation is found in the language. More material memorials are the milestones which still stand in the Gerez, some tombstones, and some pavements and other remains at Condeixa a Velha, once Conimbriga, near Coimbra and at the place now called Troya, perhaps the original Cetobriga, on a sandbank opposite Setubal, a town whose founders were probably Phoenicians.

But more important than any of these is the temple at Evora, now without any reason called the temple of Diana. During the middle ages, crowned with battlements, with the spaces between the columns built up, it was later degraded by being turned into a slaughter-house, and was only cleared of such additions a few years since. Situated near the cathedral, almost on the highest part of the town, it stands on a terrace whose great retaining wall still shows the massiveness of Roman work.

Of the temple itself there remains about half of the podium, some eleven feet high, fourteen granite columns, twelve of which still retain their beautiful Corinthian capitals, and the architrave and part of the frieze resting on these twelve capitals. Everything is of granite except the capitals and bases which are of white marble; but instead of the orthodox twenty-four flutes each column has only twelve, with a distinctly unpleasing result. The temple seems to have been hexastyle peripteral, but all trace of the cella has disappeared. Nothing is known of the temple or who it was that built it, but in Roman times Evora was one of the chief cities of Lusitania; nothing else is left but the temple, for the aqueduct has been rebuilt and the so-called Tower of Sertorius was mediaeval. Yet, although it may have less to show than Merida, once Augusta Emerita and the capital of the province, this temple is the best-preserved in the whole peninsula. (Fig. 2.)

Before the Roman dominion came to an end, in the first quarter of the fifth century, Christianity had been for some time firmly established. Religious intolerance also, which nearly a thousand years later made Spain the first home of the Inquisition, had already made itself manifest in the burning of the heretical Priscillianists by Idacius, whose see was at or near Lamego.

Soon, however, the orthodox were themselves to suffer, for the Vandals, the Goths, and the Suevi, who swept across the country from 417 A.D., were Arians, and it was only after many years had passed that the ruling Goths and Suevi were converted to the Catholic faith.

The Vandals soon passed on to Africa, leaving their name in Andalucia and the whole land to the Goths and Suevi, the

Suevi at first occupying the whole of Portugal north of the Tagus as well as Galicia and part of Leon. Later they were expelled from the southern part of their dominion, but they as well as the Goths have left practically no mark on the country, for the church built at Oporto by the Suevic king, Theodomir, on his conversion to orthodoxy in 559, has been rebuilt in the eleventh or twelfth century.

These Germanic rulers seem never to have been popular with those they governed, so that when the great Moslem invasion crossed from Morocco in 711 and, defeating King Roderick at Guadalete near Cadiz, swept in an incredibly short time right up to the northern mountains, the whole country submitted with scarcely a struggle.

A few only of the Gothic nobles took refuge on the seaward slopes of the Cantabrian mountains in the Asturias and there made a successful stand, electing Don Pelayo as their king.

As time went on, Pelayo's descendants crossed the mountains, and taking Leon gradually extended their small kingdom southwards.

Meanwhile other independent counties or principalities further east were gradually spreading downwards. The nearest was Castile, so called from its border castles, then Navarre, then Aragon, and lastly the county of Barcelona or Cataluna.

Galicia, in the north-west corner, never having been thoroughly conquered by the invaders, was soon united with the Asturias and then with Leon. So all these Christian realms, Leon—including Galicia and Asturias—Castile, and Aragon, which was soon united to Cataluna, spread southwards, faster when the Moslems were weakened by division, slower when they had been united and strengthened by a fresh wave of fanaticism from Africa. Navarre alone was unable to grow, for the lower Ebro valley was won by the kings of Aragon, while Castile as she grew barred the way to the south-west.

At last in 1037 Fernando I. united Castile and Leon into one kingdom, extending from the sea in the north to the lower course of the Douro and to the mountains dividing the upper Douro from the Tagus valley in the south. Before Fernando died in 1065 he had extended his frontier on the west as far south as the Mondego, making Sesnando, a converted Moslem, count of this important marchland. Then followed a new division, for Castile went to King Sancho, Leon to Alfonso VI., and Galicia, including the two counties of Porto and of Coimbra, to Garcia.

Before long, however, Alfonso turned out his brothers and also extended his borders even to the Tagus by taking Toledo in 1085. But his successes roused the Moslem powers to fresh fanaticism. A new and stricter dynasty, the Almoravides,[2] arose in Africa and crossing the straits inflicted a crushing defeat on the Christians at Zalaca. In despair at this disaster and at the loss of Santarem and of Lisbon, Alfonso appealed to Christendom for help. Among those who came were Count Raymond of Toulouse, who was rewarded with the kingdom of Galicia and the hand of his daughter and heiress Urraca, and Count Henry of Burgundy, who was granted the counties of Porto and of Coimbra and who married another daughter of Alfonso's, Theresa.

This was really the first beginning of Portugal as an independent state; for Portugal, derived from two towns Portus and Cales, which lie opposite each other near the mouth of the Douro, was the name given to Henry's county. Henry did but little to make himself independent as he was usually away fighting elsewhere, but his widow Theresa refused to acknowledge her sister Urraca, now queen of Castile, Leon and Galicia, as her superior, called herself Infanta and behaved as if she was no one's vassal. Fortunately for her and her aims, Urraca was far too busy fighting with her second husband, the king of Aragon, to pay much attention to what was happening in the west, so that she had time to consolidate her power and to accustom her people to think of themselves as being not Galicians but Portuguese.

The breach with Galicia was increased by the favour which Theresa, after a time, began to show to her lover, Don Fernando Peres de Trava, a Galician noble, and by the grants of lands and of honours she made to him. This made her so unpopular that when Alfonso Raimundes, Urraca's son, attacked Theresa in 1127, made her acknowledge him as suzerain, and give up Tuy and Orense, Galician towns she had taken, the people rose against her and declared her son Affonso Henriques old enough to reign.

Then took place the famous submission of Egas Moniz, Affonso's governor, who induced the king to retire from the siege of Guimaraes by promising that his pupil would agree to the terms forced on his mother. This, though but seventeen, Affonso refused to do, and next year raising an army he expelled his mother and Don Fernando, and after four wars with his cousin of Castile finally succeeded in maintaining his independence, and even in assuming the title of King.

These wars with Castile taught him at last that the true way to increase his realm was to leave Christian territory alone and to direct his energies southwards, gaining land only at the expense of the Moors.

So did the kingdom of Portugal come into existence, almost accidentally and without there being any division of race or of language between its inhabitants and those of Galicia.

The youngest of all the Peninsular kingdoms, it is the only one which still remains separate from the rest of the Spains, for when in 1580 union was forced on her by Philip II., Portugal had had too glorious a past, and had become too different in language and in custom easily to submit to so undesired a union, while Spain, already suffering from coming weakness and decay, was not able long to hold her in such hated bondage.

It is not necessary here to tell the story of each of Affonso Henriques' descendants. He himself permanently extended the borders of his kingdom as far as the Tagus, and even raided the Moslem lands of the south as far as Ourique, beyond Beja. His son, Sancho I., finding the Moors too strong to make any permanent conquests beyond the Tagus, devoted himself chiefly—when not fighting with the king of Castile and Leon—to rebuilding and restoring the towns in Beira, and it was not till the reign of his grandson, Affonso III., that the southern sea was reached by the taking of the Algarve in the middle of the thirteenth century.

Dom Diniz, Affonso III.'s son, carried on the work of settling the country, building castles and planting pine-trees to stay the blowing sands along the west coast.

From that time on Portugal was able to hold her own, and was strong enough in 1387 to defeat the king of Castile at Aljubarrota when he tried to seize the throne in right of his wife, only child of the late Portuguese king, Fernando.

Under the House of Aviz, whose first king, Joao I., had been elected to repel this invasion, Portugal rose to the greatest heights of power and of wealth to which the country was ever to attain. The ceaseless efforts of Dom Henrique, the Navigator, the third son of Dom Joao, were crowned with success when Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut in May 1498, and when Pedro Alvares Cabral first saw the coasts of Brazil in 1500.

To-day one is too ready to forget that Portugal was the pioneer in geographical discovery, that the Portuguese were the first Westerns to reach Japan, and that, had Joao II. listened to Columbus, it would have been to Portugal and not to Spain that he would have given a new world.

It was, too, under the House of Aviz that the greatest development in architecture took place, and that the only original and distinctive style of architecture was formed. That was also the time when the few good pictures which the country possesses were painted, and when much of the splendid church plate which still exists was wrought.

The sixty years of the Spanish captivity, as it was called, from 1580 to 1640, were naturally comparatively barren of all good work. After the restoration of peace and a revival of the Brazilian trade had brought back some of the wealth which the country had lost, the art of building had fallen so low that of the many churches rebuilt or altered during the eighteenth century there is scarcely one possessed of the slightest merit.

The most important events of the eighteenth century were the great earthquakes of 1755 and the ministry of the Marques de Pombal.

Soon after the beginning of the nineteenth century came the invasion led by Junot, 1807, the flight of the royal family to Brazil, and the Peninsular War. Terrible damage was done by the invaders, cart-loads of church plate were carried off, and many a monastery was sacked and burned. Peace had not long been restored when the struggle broke out between the constitutional party under Pedro of Brazil, who had resigned the throne of Portugal in favour of his daughter, Maria da Gloria, and the absolutists under Dom Miguel, his brother.

The civil war lasted for several years, from May 1828, when Dom Miguel, then regent for his niece, summoned the Cortes and caused himself to be elected king, till May 1834, when he was finally defeated at Evora Monte and forced to leave the country. The chief events of his usurpation were the siege of Oporto and the defeat of his fleet off Cape St. Vincent in 1833 by Captain Charles Napier, who fought for Dona Maria under the name of Carlos de Ponza.

One of the first acts of the constitutional Cortes was to suppress all the monasteries in the kingdom in 1834. At the same time the nunneries were forbidden to receive any new nuns, with the result that in many places the buildings have gradually fallen into decay, till the last surviving sister has died, solitary and old, and so at length set free her home to be turned to some public use.[3]

Since then the history of Portugal has been quiet and uneventful. Good roads have been made—but not always well kept up—railways have been built, and Lisbon, once known as the dirtiest of towns, has become one of the cleanest, with fine streets, electric lighting, a splendidly managed system of electric tramways, and with funiculars and lifts to connect the higher parts of the town with its busy centre.

It is not uninteresting to notice in how many small matters Portugal now differs from Spain. Portugal drinks tea, Spain chocolate or coffee; it lunches and dines early, Spain very late; its beds and pillows are very hard, in Spain they are much softer. Travelling too in Portugal is much pleasanter; as the country is so much smaller, trains leave at much more reasonable hours, run more frequently, and go more quickly. The inns also, even in small places, are, if not luxurious, usually quite clean with good food, and the landlord treats his guests with something more pleasing than that lofty condescension which is so noticeable in Spain.

Of the more distant countries of Europe, Portugal is now one of the easiest to reach. Forty-eight hours from Southampton in a boat bound for South America lands the traveller at Vigo, or three days at Lisbon, where the brilliant sun and blue sky, the judas-trees in the Avenida, the roses, the palms, and the sheets of bougainvillia, are such an unimaginable change from the cold March winds and pinched buds of England.

There is perhaps no country in Europe which has so interesting a flora, especially in spring. In March in the granite north the ground under the pine-trees is covered with the exquisite flowers of the narcissus triandrus,[4] while the wet water meadows are yellow with petticoat daffodils. Other daffodils too abound, but these are the commonest.

Later the granite rocks are hidden by great trees of white broom, while from north to south every wild piece of land is starred with the brilliant blue flowers of the lithospermum. There are also endless varieties of cistus, from the small yellow annual with rich brown heart to the large gum cistus that covers so much of the poor soil in the Alemtejo. These plains of the Alemtejo are supposed to be the least beautiful part of the country, but no one can cross them in April without being almost overcome with the beauty of the flowers, cistus, white, yellow, or red, tall white heaths, red heaths, blue lithospermum, yellow whin, and most brilliant of all the large pimpernel, whose blue flowers almost surpass the gentian. A little further on where there is less heath and cistus, tall yellow and blue Spanish irises stand up out of the grass, or there may be great heads of blue scilla peruviana or sheets of small iris of the brightest blue.

Indeed, sheets of brilliant colour are everywhere most wonderful. There may be acres of rich purple where the bugloss hides the grass, or of brilliant yellow where the large golden daisies grow thickly together, or of sky-blue where the convolvulus has smothered a field of oats.


From various causes Portugal is far less rich in buildings of interest than is Spain. The earthquake has destroyed many, but more have perished through tasteless rebuilding during the eighteenth century when the country again regained a small part of the trade and wealth lost during the Spanish usurpation.

But if this is true of architecture, it is far more true of painting. During the most flourishing period of Spanish painting, the age of Velasquez and of Murillo, Portugal was, before 1640, a despised part of the kingdom, treated as a conquered province, while after the rebellion the long struggle, which lasted for twenty-eight years, was enough to prevent any of the arts from flourishing. Besides, many good pictures which once adorned the royal palaces of Portugal were carried off to Madrid by Philip or his successors.

And yet there are scattered about the country not a few paintings of considerable merit. Most of them have been terribly neglected, are very dirty, or hang where they can scarcely be seen, while little is really known about their painters.

From the time of Dom Joao I., whose daughter, Isabel, married Duke Philip early in the fifteenth century, the two courts of Portugal and of Burgundy had been closely united. Isabel sent an alabaster monument for the tomb of her father's great friend and companion, the Holy Constable, and one of bronze for that of her eldest brother; while as a member of the embassy which came to demand her hand, was J. van Eyck himself. However, if he painted anything in Portugal, it has now vanished.

There was also a great deal of trade with Antwerp where the Portuguese merchants had a lonja or exchange as early as 1386, and where a factory was established in 1503. With the heads of this factory, Francisco Brandao and Rodrigo Ruy de Almada, Albert Duerer was on friendly terms, sending them etchings and paintings in return for wine and southern rarities. He also drew the portrait of Damiao de Goes, Dom Manoel's friend and chronicler.

It is natural enough, therefore, that Flanders should have had a great influence on Portuguese painting, and indeed practically all the pictures in the country are either by Netherland masters, painted at home and imported, or painted in Portugal by artists who had been attracted there by the fame of Dom Manoel's wealth and generosity, or else by Portuguese pupils sent to study in Flanders.

During the seventeenth century all memory of these painters had vanished. Looking at their work, the writers of that date were struck by what seemed to them, in their natural ignorance of Flemish art, a strange and peculiar style, and so attributed them all to a certain half-mythical painter of Vizeu called Vasco, or Grao Vasco, who is first mentioned in 1630.

Raczynski,[6] in his letters to the Berlin Academy, says that he had found Grao Vasco's birth in a register of Vizeu; but Vasco is not an uncommon name, and besides this child, Vasco Fernandes, was born in 1552—far too late to have painted any of the so-called Grao Vasco's pictures.

It is of course possible that some of the pictures now at Vizeu were the work of a man called Vasco, and one of those at Coimbra, in the sacristy of Santa Cruz, is signed Velascus—which is only the Spanish form of Vasco—so that the legendary personage may have been evolved from either or both of these, for it is scarcely possible that they can have been the same.

Turning now to some of the pictures themselves, there are thirteen representing scenes from the life of the Virgin in the archbishop's palace at Evora, which are said by Justi, a German critic, to be by Gerhard David. Twelve of these are in a very bad state of preservation, but one is still worthy of some admiration. In the centre sits the Virgin with the Child on her knee: four angels are in the air above her holding a wreath. On her right three angels are singing, and on her left one plays an organ while another behind blows the bellows. Below there are six other angels, three on each side with a lily between them, playing, those on the right on a violin, a flute, and a zither, those on the left on a harp, a triangle, and a guitar. Once part of the cathedral reredos, it was taken down when the new Capella Mor was built in the eighteenth century.

Another Netherlander who painted at Evora was Frey Carlos, who came to Espinheiro close by in 1507. Several of his works are in the Museum at Lisbon.[7]

When Dom Manoel was enriching the old Templar church at Thomar with gilding and with statues of saints, he also caused large paintings to be placed round the outer wall. Several still remain, but most have perished, either during the French invasion or during the eleven years after the expulsion of the monks in 1834 when the church stood open for any one to go in and do what harm he liked. Some also, including the 'Raising of Lazarus,' the 'Entry into Jerusalem,' the 'Resurrection,' and the 'Centurion,' are now in Lisbon. Four—the 'Nativity,' the 'Visit of the Magi,' the 'Annunciation,' and a 'Virgin and Child'—are known to have been given by Dom Manoel; twenty others, including the four now at Lisbon, are spoken of by Raczynski in 1843,[8] and some at least of these, as well as the angels holding the emblems of the Passion, who stand above the small arches of the inner octagon, may have been painted by Johannes Dralia of Bruges, who died and was buried at Thomar in 1504.[9]

Also at Thomar, but in the parish church of Sao Joao Baptista, are some pictures ascribed by Justi to a pupil of Quentin Matsys. Now it is known that a Portuguese called Eduard became a pupil of Matsys in 1504, and four years later a Vrejmeester of the guild. So perhaps they may be by this Eduard or by some fellow-pupil.

The Jesus Church at Setubal, built by Justa Rodrigues, Dom Manoel's nurse, has fifteen paintings in incongruous gilt frames and hung high up on the north wall of the church, which also have something of the same style.[10]

More interesting than these are two pictures in the sacristy of Santa Cruz at Coimbra, an 'Ecce Homo' and the 'Day of Pentecost.' It is the 'Pentecost' which is signed Velascus, and in it the Apostles in an inner room are seen through an arcade of three arches like a chapter-house entrance. Perhaps once part of the great reredos, this picture has suffered terribly from neglect; but it must once have been a fine work, and the way in which the Apostles in the inner room are separated by the arcade from the two spectators is particularly successful.

In Oporto there exists at least one good picture, 'The Fountain of Mercy,' now in the board-room of the Misericordia,[11] but painted to be the reredos of the chapel of Sao Thiago in the Se where the brotherhood was founded by Dom Manoel in 1499. (Fig. 3.)

In the centre above, between St. John and the Virgin, stands a crucifix from which blood flows down to fill a white marble well.

Below, on one side there kneels Dom Manoel with his six sons—Joao, afterwards king; Luis, duke of Beja; Fernando, duke of Guarda; Affonso, afterwards archbishop of Lisbon, with his cardinal's hat; Henrique, later cardinal archbishop of Evora, and then king; and Duarte, duke of Guimaraes and ancestor of the present ruling house of Braganza.

On the other side are Queen Dona Leonor,[12] granddaughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, Dom Manoel's third wife[13] and her two stepdaughters, Dona Isabel, the wife of Charles V. and mother of Philip II., who through her claimed and won the throne of Portugal when his uncle, the cardinal king, died in 1580, and Dona Beatriz, who married Charles III.. of Savoy.

The date of the picture is fixed as between 1518 when Dom Affonso, then aged nine, received his cardinal's hat, and 1521 when Dom Manoel died.[14]

Unfortunately the picture has been somewhat spoiled by restoration, but it is undoubtedly a very fine piece of work—especially the portraits below—and would be worthy of admiration anywhere, even in a country much richer in works of art.

It has of course been attributed to Grao Vasco, but it is quite different from either the Velascus pictures at Coimbra or the paintings at Vizeu; besides, some of the beautifully painted flowers, such as the columbines, which enrich the grass on which the royal persons kneel, are not Portuguese flowers, so that it is much more likely to have been the work of some one from Flanders.

Equally Flemish are the pictures at Vizeu, whether any of them be by the Grao Vasco or not. Tradition has it that he was born at a mill not far off, still called Moinho do Pintor, the Painter's Mill, and that Dom Manoel sent him to study in Italy. Now, wherever the painter of the Vizeu pictures had

studied it can scarcely have been in Italy, as they are all surely much nearer to the Flemish than to any Italian school.

There are still in the precincts of the cathedral some thirty-one pictures of very varied merit, and not all by the same hand. Of these there are fourteen in the chapter-house, a room opening off the upper cloister. They are all scenes from the life of Our Lord from the Annunciation to the day of Pentecost. Larger than any of these is a damaged 'Crucifixion' in the Jesus Chapel under the chapter-house. The painting is full, perhaps too full, of movement and of figures. Besides the scenes usually portrayed in a picture of the Crucifixion, others are shown in the background, Judas hanging himself on one side, and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus on the other, coming out from Jerusalem with their spices. Lastly, in the sacristy there are twelve small paintings of the Apostles and other saints of no great merit, and four large pictures, 'St. Sebastian,' the 'Day of Pentecost,' where the room is divided by three arches, with the Virgin and another saint in the centre, and six of the Apostles on each side; the 'Baptism of Our Lord,' and lastly 'St. Peter.' The first three are not very remarkable, but the 'St. Peter' is certainly one of the finest pictures in the country, and is indeed worthy of ranking among the great pictures of the world.[15] (Fig. 4.)

As in the 'Day of Pentecost' there is a triple division; St. Peter's throne being in the middle with an arch on each side open to show distant scenes. The throne seems to be of stone, with small boys and griffins holding shields charged with the Cross Keys on the arms. On the canopy two other shields supporting triple crowns flank an arch whose classic ornaments and large shell are more Italian than is any other part of the painting. On the throne sits St. Peter pontifically robed, and with the triple crown on his head. His right hand is raised in blessing, and in his left he holds one very long key while he keeps a book open upon his knee.

The cope is of splendid gold brocade of a fine Gothic pattern, with orfreys or borders richly embroidered with figures of saints, and is fastened in front by a great square gold and jewelled morse. All the draperies are very finely modelled and richly coloured, but finest of all is St. Peter's face, solemn and stern and yet kindly, without any of that pride and arrogance which would seem but natural to the wearer of such vestments; it is, with its grey hair and short grey beard, rather the face of the fisherman of Galilee than that of a Pope.

Through the arches to the right and left above a low wall are seen the beginning and the end of his ministry. On the one side he is leaving his boat and his nets to become a fisher of men, and on the other he kneels before the vision of Our Lord, when fleeing from Rome he met Him at the place now called 'Quo Vadis' on the Appian way, and so was turned back to meet his martyrdom.

Fortunately this painting has suffered from no restoration, and is still wonderfully clean, but the wood on which it is painted has split rather badly in places, one large crack running from top to bottom just beyond the throne on St. Peter's right.

This 'St. Peter,' then, is entirely Flemish in the painting of the drapery and of the scenes behind; especially of the turreted Gothic walls of Rome. The details of the throne may be classic, but French renaissance forms were first introduced into the country at Belem in 1517, just the time when the cathedral here was being built by Bishop Dom Diogo Ortiz de Vilhegas. This, and the other pictures in the sacristy, were doubtless once parts of the great reredos, which would not be put up till the church was quite finished, and so may not have been painted till some time after 1520, or even later. Already in 1522 much renaissance work was being done at Coimbra, not far off, so it is possible that the painter of these pictures may have adopted his classic detail from what he may have seen there.

It is worth noting, too, that preserved in the sacristy at Vizeu there is, or was,[16] a cope so like that worn by St. Peter, that the painting must almost certainly have been copied from it.

We may therefore conclude that these pictures are the work of some one who had indeed studied abroad, probably at Antwerp, but who worked at home.

Not only to paint religious pictures and portraits did Flemish artists come to Portugal. One at least, Antonio de

Hollanda, was famous for his illuminations. He lived and worked at Evora, and is said by his son Francisco to have been the first in Portugal 'to make known a pleasing manner of painting in black and white, superior to all processes known in other countries.'[17]

When the convent of Thomar was being finished by Dom Joao III., some large books were in November 1533 sent on a mule to Antonio at Evora to be illuminated. Two of these books were finished and paid for in February 1535, when he received 63$795 or about L15. The books were bound at Evora for 4$000 or sixteen shillings.

By the end of the next year a Psalter was finished which cost 54$605 or L12, at the rate of 6$000, L1, 6s. 8d. for each of four large headings, forty illuminated letters with vignettes at 2s. 2d. each, a hundred and fifteen without vignettes at fivepence-halfpenny, two hundred and three in red, gold, and blue at fourpence-farthing, eighty-four drawn in black at twopence, and 2846 small letters at the beginning of each verse at less than one farthing. Next March this Psalter was brought back to Thomar on a mule whose hire was two shillings and twopence—a sum small enough for a journey of well over a hundred miles,[18] but which may help us the better to estimate the value of the money paid to Antonio.[19]


A very great part of the church plate of Portugal has long since disappeared, for few chapters had the foresight to hide all that was most valuable when Soult began his devastating march from the north, and so he and his men were able to encumber their retreat with cart-loads of the most beautiful gold and silver ornaments.

Yet a good deal has survived, either because it was hidden away as at Guimaraes or at Coimbra—where it is said to have been only found lately—or because, as at Evora, it lay apart from the course of this famous plunderer.

The richest treasuries at the present day are those of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira at Guimaraes, and of the Ses at Braga, at Coimbra, and at Evora.

A silver-gilt chalice and a pastoral staff of the twelfth century in the sacristy at Braga are among the oldest pieces of plate in the country. The chalice is about five inches high. The cup, ornamented with animals and leaves, stands on a plain base inscribed, 'In nme Dmi Menendus Gundisaluis de Tuda domna sum.' It is called the chalice of Sao Giraldo, and is supposed to have belonged to that saint, who as archbishop of Braga baptized Affonso Henriques.

The staff of copper-gilt is in the form of a snake with a cross in its mouth, and though almost certainly of the twelfth century is said to have been found in the tomb of Santo Ovidio, the third archbishop of the see.

Another very fine chalice of the same date is in the treasury at Coimbra. Here the round cup is enriched by an arcade, under each arch of which stands a saint, while on the base are leaves and medallions with angels. It is inscribed, 'Geda Menendis me fecit in onore sci. Michaelis e. MCLXXXX.', that is A.D. 1152.

It was no doubt given by Dom Miguel, who ruled the see from 1162 to 1176 and who spent so much on the old cathedral and on its furniture. For him Master Ptolomeu made silver altar fronts, and the goldsmith Felix a jug and basin for the service of the altar. He also had a gold chalice made weighing 4 marks, probably the one made by Geda Menendis, and a gold cross to enclose some pieces of the Holy Sepulchre and two pieces of the True Cross.

At Guimaraes the chalice of Sao Torquato is of the thirteenth century. The cup is quite plain and small, but on the wide-spreading base are eight enamels of Our Lady and of seven of the Apostles.

The finest of all the objects in the Guimaraes treasury is the reredos, taken by Dom Joao I. from the Spanish king's tent after the victory of Aljubarrota, and one of the angels which once went with it.

The same king also gave to the small church of Sao Miguel a silver processional cross, all embossed with oak leaves, and ending in fleurs-de-lys, which rises from two superimposed octagons, covered with Gothic ornament.

Another beautiful cross now at Coimbra has a 'Virgin and Child' in the centre under a rich canopy, and enamels of the four Evangelists on the arms, while the rest of the surface including the foliated ends is covered with exquisitely pierced flowing tracery. (Fig. 5.)

Earlier are the treasures which once belonged the Queen St. Isabel who died in 1327, and which are still preserved at Coimbra. These include a beautiful and simple cross of agate and silver, a curious reliquary made of a branch of coral with silver mountings, her staff as abbess of St. Clara, shaped like the cross of an Eastern bishop, and with heads of animals at the ends of the arms, and a small ark-shaped reliquary of silver and coral now set on a high renaissance base.

But nearly all the surviving church plate dates from the time of Dom Manoel or his son.

To Braga Archbishop Diogo de Souza gave a splendid silver-gilt chalice in 1509. Here the cup is adorned above by six angels holding emblems of the Passion, and below by six others holding bells. Above them runs an inscription, Hic est calix sanguinis mei novi et eter. The stem is entirely covered with most elaborate canopy work, with six Apostles in niches, while on the base are five other Apostles in relief, the archbishop's arms, and six pieces of enamel.

Very similar is a splendid chalice in the Misericordia at Oporto, probably of about the same date, and two at Coimbra. In both of these the cup is embossed with angels and leafage—in one the angels hold bells—and the stem is covered with tabernacle work. On the base of the one is a pieta with mourning angels and other emblems of the Passion in relief, while that of the other is enriched with filigree work. (Fig. 6.)

Another at Guimaraes given by Fernando Alvares is less well proportioned and less beautiful.

So far the architectural details of the chalices mentioned have been entirely national, but there is a custodia at Evora, whose interlacing canopy work seems to betray the influence of the Netherlands. The base of this custodia[20] or monstrance, in the shape of a chalice seems later than the upper part, which is surmounted by a rounded canopy whose hanging cusps and traceried panels strongly recall the Flemish work of the great reredos in the old cathedral at Coimbra.

Even more Flemish are a pastoral staff made for Cardinal Henrique, son of Dom Manoel and afterwards king, a monstrance or reliquary at Coimbra,[21] and another at Guimaraes.[22]

Much splendid plate was also given to Santa Cruz at Coimbra by Dom Manoel, but all—candlesticks, lamps, crosses and a monstrance—have since vanished, sent to Goa in India when the canons in the eighteenth century wanted something more fashionable.

Belem also possessed splendid treasures, among them a cross of silver filigree and jewels which is still preserved.

Much filigree work is still done in the north, where the young women invest their savings in great golden hearts or in beautiful earrings, though now bunches of coloured flowers on huge lockets of coppery gold are much more sought after.

Curiously, many of the most famous goldsmiths of the sixteenth century were Jews. Among them was the Vicente family, a member of which made a fine monstrance for Belem in 1505, and which, like other families, was expelled from Coimbra to Guimaraes between the years 1532 and 1537, and doubtless wrought some of the beautiful plate for which the treasury of Nossa Senhora is famous.

The seventeenth century, besides smaller works, has left the great silver tomb of the Holy Queen St. Isabel in the new church of Santa Clara. Made by order of Bishop Dom Affonso de Castello Branco in 1614, it weighs over 170 lbs., has at the sides and ends Corinthian columns, leaving panels between them with beautifully chased framing, and a sloping top.

Later and less worthy of notice are the coffins of the two first sainted abbesses of the convent of Lorvao, near Coimbra, in which elaborate acanthus scrolls in silver are laid over red velvet.


The Moors occupied most of what is now Portugal for a considerable length of time. The extreme north they held for rather less than two hundred years, the extreme south for more than five hundred. This occupation by a governing class, so different in religion, in race, and in customs from

those they ruled, has naturally had a strong influence, not only on the language of Portugal, but also on the art. Though there survive no important Moorish buildings dating from before the re-conquest—for the so-called mosque at Cintra is certainly a small Christian church—many were built after it for Christians by Moorish workmen.

These, as well as the Arab ceilings, or those derived therefrom, will be described later, but here must be mentioned the tilework, the most universally distributed legacy of the Eastern people who once held the land. There is scarcely a church, certainly scarcely one of any size or importance which even in the far north has not some lining or dado of tiles, while others are entirely covered with them from floor to ceiling or vault.

The word azulejo applied to these tiles is derived from the Arabic azzallaja or azulaich, meaning smooth, or else through the Arabic from a Low Latin word azuroticus used by a Gaulish writer of the fifth century to describe mosaic[23] and not from the word azul or blue. At first each different piece or colour in a geometric pattern was cut before firing to the shape required, and the many different pieces when coloured and fired were put together so as to form a regular mosaic. This method of making tiles, though soon given up in most places as being too troublesome, is still employed at Tetuan in Morocco, where in caves near the town the whole process may still be seen; for there the mixing of the clay, the cutting out of the small pieces, the colouring and the firing are still carried on in the old primitive and traditional manner.[24]

Elsewhere, though similar designs long continued to be used in Spain and Portugal, and are still used in Morocco, the tiles were all made square, each tile usually forming one quarter of the pattern. In them the pattern was formed by lines slightly raised above the surface of the tile so that there was no danger during the firing of the colour running beyond the place it was intended to occupy.

For a long time, indeed right up to the end of the fifteenth century, scarcely anything but Moorish geometric patterns seem to have been used. Then with the renaissance their place was taken by other patterns of infinite variety; some have octagons with classic mouldings represented in colour, surrounding radiating green and blue leaves;[25] some more strictly classical are not unlike Italian patterns; some again are more naturalistic, while in others the pattern, though not of the old geometric form, is still Moorish in design.

Together with the older tiles of Moorish pattern plain tiles were often made in which each separate tile, usually square, but at times rhomboidal or oblong, was of one colour, and such tiles were often used from quite early times down at least to the end of the seventeenth century.

More restricted in use were the beautiful embossed tiles found in the palace at Cintra, in which each has on it a raised green vine-leaf and tendril, or more rarely a dark bunch of grapes.

Towards the middle of the sixteenth century the Moorish technique of tilemaking, with its patterns marked off by raised edges, began to go out of fashion, and instead the patterns were outlined in dark blue and painted on to flat tiles. About the same time large pictures painted on tiles came into use, at first, as in the work of Francisco de Mattos, with scenes more or less in their natural colours, and later in the second half of the seventeenth century, and in the beginning of the eighteenth in blue on a white ground.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century blue seems to have usurped the place of all other colours, and from that time, especially in or near Oporto, tiles were used to mask all the exterior rubble walls of houses and churches, even spires or bulbous domes being sometimes so covered.

Now in Oporto nearly all the houses are so covered, usually with blue-and-white tiles, though on the more modern they may be embossed and pale green or yellow, sometimes even brown. But all the tiles from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day are marked by the poverty of the colour and of the pattern, and still more by the hard shiny glaze, which may be technically more perfect, but is infinitely inferior in beauty to the duller and softer glaze of the previous centuries.

When square tiles were used they were throughout singularly uniform in size, being a little below or a little above five inches square. The ground is always white with a slightly blueish tinge. In the earlier tiles of Arab pattern the colours are blue, green, and brown; very rarely, and that in some of the oldest tiles, the pattern may be in black; yellow is scarcely ever seen. In those of Moorish technique but Western pattern, the most usual colours are blue, green, yellow and, more rarely, brown.

Later still in the flat tiles scarcely anything but blue and yellow are used, though the blue and the yellow may be of two shades, light and dark, golden and orange. Brown and green have almost disappeared, and, as was said above, so did yellow at last, leaving nothing but blue and white.

Although there are few buildings which do not possess some tiles, the oldest, those of Moorish design, are rare, and, the best collection is to be found in the old palace at Cintra, of which the greater part was built by Dom Joao I. towards the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth century.

Formerly all the piers of the old cathedral of Coimbra were covered with such tiles, but they have lately been swept away, and only those left which line the aisle walls.

At Cintra there are a few which it is supposed may have belonged to the palace of the Walis, or perhaps it would be safer to say to the palace before it was rebuilt by Dom Joao. These are found round a door leading out of a small room, called from the mermaids on the ceiling the Sala das Sereias. The pointed door is enclosed in a square frame by a band of narrow dark and light tiles with white squares between, arranged in checks, while in the spandrels is a very beautiful arabesque pattern in black on a white ground.

Of slightly later date are the azulejos of the so-called Sala dos Arabes, where the walls to a height of about six feet are lined with blue, green, and white tiles, the green being square and the other rhomboidal. Over the doors, which are pointed, a square framing is carried up, with tiles of various patterns in the spandrels, and above these frames, as round the whole walls, runs a very beautiful cresting two tiles high. On the lower row are interlacing semicircles in high relief forming foliated cusps and painted blue. In the spandrels formed by the interlacing of the semicircles are three green leaves growing out from a brown flower; in short the design is exactly like a Gothic corbel table such as was used on Dom Joao's church at Batalha turned upside down, and so probably dates from his time. On the second row of tiles there are alternately a tall blue fleur-de-lys with a yellow centre, and a lower bunch of leaves, three blue at the top and one yellow on each side; the ground throughout is white. (Fig. 8.)

Also of Dom Joao's time are the tiles in the Sala das Pegas, where they are of the regular Moorish pattern—blue, green and brown on a white ground, and where four go to make up the pattern. The cresting of green scrolls and vases is much later.

Judging from the cresting in the dining-room or Sala de Jantar, where, except that the ground is brown relieved by large white stars, and that the cusps are green and not blue, the design is exactly the same as in the Sala dos Arabes, the tiles there must be at least as old as these crestings; for though older tiles might be given a more modern cresting, the reverse is hardly likely to occur, and if as old as the crestings they may possibly belong to Dom Joao's time, or at least to the middle of the fifteenth century. (Fig. 9.)

These dining-room tiles, and also those in the neighbouring Sala das Sereias, are among the most beautiful in the palace. The ground is as usual white, and on each is embossed a beautiful green vine-leaf with branches and tendril. Tiles similar, but with a bunch of grapes added, line part of the stair in the picturesque little Pateo de Diana near at hand, and form the top of the back of the tiled bench and throne in the Sala do Conselho, once an open veranda. Most of this bench is covered with tiles of Moorish design, but on the front each is stamped with an armillary sphere in which the axis is yellow, the lines of the equator and tropics green, and the rest blue. These one would certainly take to be of Dom Manoel's time, for the armillary sphere was his emblem, but they are said to be older.

Most of the floor tiles are of unglazed red, except some in the chapel, which are supposed to have formed the paving of the original mosque, and some in an upper room, worn smooth by the feet of Dom Affonso VI., who was imprisoned there for many a year in the seventeenth century.

When Dom Manoel was making his great addition to the palace in the early years of the sixteenth century he lined the walls of the Sala dos Cysnes with tiles forming a check of green

and white. These are carried up over the doors and windows, and in places have a curious cresting of green cones like Moorish battlements, and of castles.

Much older are the tiles in the central Pateo, also green and white, but forming a very curious pattern.

Of later tiles the palace also has some good examples, such as the hunting scenes with which the walls of the Sala dos Brazoes were covered probably at the end of the seventeenth century, during the reign of Dom Pedro II.

The palace at Cintra may possess the finest collection of tiles, Moorish both in technique and in pattern, but it has few or none of the second class where the technique remains Moorish but the design is Western. To see such tiles in their greatest quantity and variety one must cross the Tagus and visit the Quinta de Bacalhoa not far from Setubal.

There a country house had been built in the last quarter of the fifteenth century by Dona Brites, the mother of Dom Manoel.[26] The house, with melon-roofed corner turrets, simple square windows and two loggias, has an almost classic appearance, and if built in its present shape in the time of Dona Brites, must be one of the earliest examples of the renaissance in the country. It has therefore been thought that Bacalhoa may be the mysterious palace built for Dom Joao II. by Andrea da Sansovino, which is mentioned by Vasari, but of which all trace has been lost. However, it seems more likely that it owes its classic windows to the younger Affonso de Albuquerque, son of the great Indian Viceroy, who bought the property in 1528. The house occupies one corner of a square garden enclosure, while opposite it is a large square tank with a long pavilion at its southern side. A path runs along the southern wall of the garden leading from the house to the tank, and all the way along this wall are tiled seats and tubs for orange-trees. It is on these tubs and seats that the greatest variety of tiles are found.

It would be quite impossible to give any detailed description of these tiles, the patterns are so numerous and so varied. In some the pattern is quite classical, in others it still shows traces of Moorish influence, while in some again the design is entirely naturalistic. This is especially the case in a pattern used in the lake pavilion, where eight large green leaves are arranged pointing to one centre, and four smaller brown ones to another, and in a still more beautiful pattern used on an orange tub in the garden, where yellow and dark flowers, green and blue leaves are arranged in a circle round eight beautiful fruits shaped like golden pomegranates with blue seeds set among green leaves and stalks.

But these thirty or more patterns do not exhaust the interest of the Quinta. There are also some very fine tile pictures, especially one of 'Susanna and the Elders,' and a fragment of the 'Quarrel of the Lapithae and Centaurs' in the pavilion overlooking the tank. 'Susanna and the Elders' is particularly good, and is interesting in that on a small temple in the background is the date 1565.[27] Rather later seem the five river gods in the garden loggia of the house, for their strapwork frames of blue and yellow can hardly be as early as 1565; besides, a fragment with similar details has on it the letters TOS, no doubt the end of the signature 'Francisco Mattos,' who also signed some beautiful tiles in the church of Sao Roque at Lisbon in 1584.

It is known that the entrance to the convent of the Madre de Deus at Lisbon was ornamented by Dom Manoel with some della Robbia reliefs, two of which are now in the Museum.

On the west side of the tank at Bacalhoa is a wall nearly a hundred feet long, and framed with tiles. In the centre the water flows into the tank from a dolphin above which is an empty niche. There are two other empty niches, one inscribed Tempora labuntur more fluentis aquae, and the other Vivite victuri moneo mors omnibus instat. These niches stand between four medallions of della Robbia ware, some eighteen inches across. Two are heads of men and two of women, only one of each being glazed. The glazed woman's head is white, with yellow hair, a sky-blue veil, and a loose reddish garment all on a blue ground. All are beautifully modelled and are surrounded by glazed wreaths of fruit and leaves. These four must certainly have come from the della Robbia factory in Florence, for they, and especially the surrounding wreaths, are exactly like what may be seen so often in North Italy.

Much less good are six smaller medallions, four of which are much destroyed, on the wall leading north from the tank to a pavilion named the Casa da India, so called from the beautiful Indian hangings with which its walls were covered by Albuquerque. In them the modelling is less good and the wreaths are more conventional.

Lastly, between the tank and the house are twelve others, one under each of the globes, which, flanked by obelisks, crown the wall. They are all of the same size, but in some the head and the blue backing are not in one place. The wreaths also are inferior even to those of the last six, though the actual heads are rather better. They all represent famous men of old, from Alexander the Great to Nero. Two are broken; that of Augustus is signed with what may perhaps be read Donus Vilhelmus, 'Master William,' who unfortunately is otherwise unknown.

It seems impossible now to tell where these were made, but they were certainly inspired by the four genuine Florentine medallions on the tank wall, and if by a native artist are of great interest as showing how men so skilled in making beautiful tiles could also copy the work of a great Italian school with considerable success.

Of the third class of tiles, those where the patterns are merely painted and not raised, there are few examples at Bacalhoa—except when some restoration has been done—for this manner of tile-painting did not become common till the next century, but there are a few with very good patterns in the house itself, and close by, the walls of the church of Sao Simao are covered with excellent examples. These were put up by the heads of a brotherhood in 1648, and are almost exactly the same as those in the church of Alvito; even the small saintly figures over the arches occur in both. The pattern of Alvito is one of the finest, and is found again at Santarem in the church of the Marvilla, where the lower tiles are all of singular beauty and splendid colouring, blue and yellow on a white ground. Other beautiful tiled interiors are those of the Matriz at Caldas da Rainha, and at Caminha on the Minho. Without seeing these tiled churches it is impossible to realise how beautiful they really are, and how different are these tiles from all modern ones, whose hard smooth glaze and mechanical perfection make them cold and anything but pleasing. (Figs. 10 and 11, frontispiece.)

Besides the picture-tiles at Bacalhoa there are some very good examples of similar work in the semicircular porch which surrounds the small round chapel of Sant' Amaro at Alcantara close to Lisbon. The chapel was built in 1549, and the tiles added about thirty years later. Here, as in the Dominican nunnery at Elvas, and in some exquisite framings and steps at Bacalhoa, the pattern and architectural details are spread all over the tiles, often making a rich framing to a bishop or saint. Some are not at all unlike Francisco Mattos' work in Sao Roque, which is also well worthy of notice.

Of the latest pictorial tiles, the finest are perhaps those in the church of Sao Joao Evangelista at Evora, which tell of the life of San Lorenzo Giustiniani, Venetian Patriarch, and which are signed and dated 'Antoninus ab Oliva fecit 1711.'[28] But these blue picture-tiles are almost the commonest of all, and were made and used up to the end of the century.[29]

Now although some of the patterns used are found also in Spain, as at Seville or at Valencia, and although tiles from Seville were used at Thomar by Joao de Castilho, still it is certain that many were of home manufacture.

As might be expected from the patterns and technique of the oldest tiles, the first mentioned tilers are Moors.[30] Later there were as many as thirteen tilemakers in Lisbon, and many were made in the twenty-eight ovens of louca de Veneza, 'Venetian faience.' The tiles used by Dom Manoel at Cintra came from Belem, while as for the picture tiles the novices of the order of Sao Thiago at Palmella formed a school famous for such work.

Indeed it may be said that tilework is the most characteristic feature of Portuguese buildings, and that to it many a church, otherwise poor and even mean, owes whatever interest or beauty it possesses. Without tiles, rooms like the Sala das Sereias or the Sala dos Arabes would be plain whitewashed featureless apartments, with them they have a charm and a romance not easy to find anywhere but in the East.



Portugal, like all the other Christian kingdoms of the Peninsula, having begun in the north, first as a county or march land subject to the king of Galicia or of Leon, and later, since 1139, as an independent kingdom, it is but natural to find nearly all the oldest buildings in those parts of the country which, earliest freed from the Moslem dominion, formed the original county. The province of Entre Minho-e-Douro has always been held by the Portuguese to be the most beautiful part of their country, and it would be difficult to find anywhere valleys more beautiful than those of the Lima, the Cavado, or the Ave. Except the mountain range of the Marao which divides this province from the wilder and drier Tras-os-Montes, or the Gerez which separates the upper waters of the Cavado and of the Lima, and at the same time forms part of the northern frontier of Portugal, the hills are nowhere of great height. They are all well covered with woods, mostly of pine, and wherever a piece of tolerably level ground can be found they are cultivated with the care of a garden. All along the valleys, and even high up the hillsides among the huge granite boulders, there is a continuous succession of small villages. Many of these, lying far from railway or highroad, can only be reached by narrow and uneven paths, along which no carriage can pass except the heavy creaking carts drawn by the beautiful large long-horned oxen whose broad and splendidly carved yokes are so remarkable a feature of the country lying between the Vouga and the Cavado.[31] In many of these villages may still be seen churches built soon after the expulsion of the Moors, and long before the establishment of the Monarchy. Many of them originally belonged to some monastic body. Of these the larger part have been altered and spoiled during the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, when, after the expulsion of the Spaniards, the country began again to grow rich from trade with the recovered colony of Brazil. Still enough remains to show that these old romanesque churches differed in no very striking way from the general romanesque introduced into Northern Spain from France, except that as a rule they were smaller and ruder, and were but seldom vaulted.

That these early churches should be rude is not surprising. They are built of hard grey granite. When they were built the land was still liable to incursions, and raids from the south, such as the famous foray of Almansor, who harried and burned the whole land not sparing even the shrine of Santiago far north in Galicia. Their builders were still little more than a race of hardy soldiers with no great skill in the working of stone. Only towards the end of the twelfth century, long after the border had been advanced beyond the Mondego and after Coimbra had become the capital of a new county, did the greater security as well as the very fine limestone of the lower Mondego valley make it possible for churches to be built at Coimbra which show a marked advance in construction as well as in elaboration of detail. Between the Mondego and the Tagus there are only four or five churches which can be called romanesque, and south of the Tagus only the cathedral of Evora, begun about 1186 and consecrated some eighteen years later, is romanesque, constructively at least, though all its arches have become pointed.

But to return north to Entre Minho-e-Douro, where the oldest and most numerous romanesque churches exist and where three types may be seen. Of these the simplest and probably the oldest is that of an aisleless nave with simple square chancel. In the second the nave has one or two aisles, and at the end of these aisles a semicircular apse, but with the chancel still square: while in the third and latest the plan has been further developed and enlarged, though even here the main chancel generally still remains square.

[Sidenote: Villarinho.]

There yet exist, not far from Oporto, a considerable number of examples of the first type, though several by their pointed doorways show that they actually belong, in part at least, to the period of the Transition. One of the best-preserved is the small church of Villarinho, not far from Vizella in the valley of the Ave. Originally the church of a small monastery, it has long been the parish church of a mountain hamlet, and till it was lately whitewashed inside had scarcely been touched since the day it was finished some time before the end of the twelfth century. It consists of a rather high and narrow nave, a square-ended chancel, and to the west a lower narthex nearly as large as the chancel. The church is lit by very small windows which are indeed mere slits, and by a small round opening in the gable above the narthex.[32] The narthex is entered by a perfectly plain round-headed door with strong impost and drip-mould, while above the corbels which once carried the roof of a lean-to porch, a small circle enclosing a rude unglazed quatrefoil serves as the only window. The door leading from the narthex to the nave is much more elaborate; of four orders of mouldings, the two inner are plain, the two outer have a big roll at the angle, and all are slightly pointed. Except the outermost, which springs from square jambs, they all stand on the good romanesque capitals of six shafts, four round and two octagonal. (Fig. 12.)

[Sidenote: Sao Miguel, Guimaraes.]

Exactly similar in plan but without a narthex is the church of Sao Miguel at Guimaraes, famous as being the church in which Affonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was baptized in 1111. It claims to have been the Primaz or chief church of the whole archdiocese of Braga. It is, like Villarinho, a small and very plain church built of great blocks of granite, with a nave and square chancel lit by narrow window slits. On the north side there are a plain square-headed doorway and two bold round arches let into the outer wall over the graves of some great men of these distant times. The drip-mould of one of these arches is carved with a shallow zigzag ornament which is repeated on the western door, a door whose slightly pointed arch may mean a rather later date than the rest of the church. The wooden roof, as at Villarinho, has a very gentle slope with eaves of considerable projection resting on very large plain corbels, while other corbels lower down the wall seem to show that at one time a veranda or cloister ran round three sides of the building. The whole is even ruder and simpler than Villarinho, but has a certain amount of dignity due to the great size of the stones of which it is built and to the severe plainness of the walling.

[Sidenote: Cedo Feita, Oporto.]

Only one other church of this type need be described, and that because it is the only one which is vaulted throughout. This is the small church of Sao Martim de Cedo Feita or 'Early made' at Oporto itself. It is so called because it claims, wrongly indeed, to be the very church which Theodomir, king of the Suevi, who then occupied the north-west of the Peninsula, hurriedly built in 559 A.D. This he did in order that, having been converted from the Arian beliefs he shared with all the Germanic invaders of the Empire, he might there be baptized into the Catholic faith, and also that he might provide a suitable resting-place for some relic of St. Martin of Tours which had been sent to him as a mark of Orthodox approval. This story[33] is set forth in a long inscription on the tympanum of the west door stating that it was put there in 1767, a copy taken in 1557 from an old stone having then been found in the archives of the church. As a matter of fact no part of the church can be older than the twelfth century, and it has been much altered, probably at the date when the inscription was cut. It is a small building, a barrel-vaulted nave and chancel, with a door on the north side and a larger one to the west now covered by a large porch. The six capitals of this door are very like those at Villarinho, but the moulded arches are round and not as there pointed.

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