ARCHITECT, Portuguese
(active 1186-1204 in Évora)

Exterior view

begun 1186
Cathedral, Évora (Portugal)

In the twelfth century, Portugal was only one of several kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula which partly looked towards France for its cultural development, whilst at the same time maintaining its strong links with Castile and León and particularly with its neighbour in the north, Galicia. This is quite obvious in its religious architecture.

Portugal's great Romanesque cathedrals in Coimbra, Évora and Lisbon generally follow the same basic plan, a slightly modified version of that of Santiago. The westblock, usually designed as a westfront with two towers, is adjoined by an aisled nave with galleries above the side-aisles and a barrel-vaulted central nave. Situated further east is the aisleless transept with a central tower and a group of three apses arranged in echelon.

The youngest member of this group is the cathedral in Évora. It is one of the oldest and most important monuments in the city of Évora, lying on the highest spot of the city. The construction was started in 1186, and the consecration took place in 1204. It is very similar in design to Coimbra, except that the nave is more elongated and comprises seven bays, as opposed to six in Lisbon and five in Coimbra. The proportions of Évora and details such as the rose windows already anticipate the Gothic style.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.