Death and memory at the monastery: Privileged burials and their patrons in the newly founded Kingdom of Portugal

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This paper aims to establish the artistic and symbolical context associated with the evolution of the architectonically structured burial spaces in the newly founded kingdom of Portugal, between the end of the 11th and the early years of the 13th centuries, with an emphasis on monastic institutes and the transport of its models from beyond the Pyrenees, crossing through the peninsular kingdoms and finally arriving to Portugal. The examples of the first galilee named as such - that of Cluny II - was followed by those of Romainmôtier, Tournus, León or Sahagún. We successively approached the first type of pantheons identified in Portugal - that of the galilees which precede the temple, used by their founders - concentrating initially on the first royal pantheon of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, and subsequently trying to understand how this model was used in a vast group of burial spaces sponsored by the noble landlords and patrons of the Church, following the territorial expansion of the kingdom but mainly concentrated on its northern territories, around major cities such as Braga or Guimarães, relevant towns like Amarante and Oporto, or closer to the borders as in Valença, over the river Minho. Two case studies will best show the use of this model on Portuguese rural Romanesque architecture, either associated to the Augustinians, as in São Pedro of Ferreira, or to the Benedictins, like in Sanfins of Friestas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalHortus Artium Mediaevalium
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Arcosolium
  • Chapel
  • Funerary
  • Galilee/ante-church
  • Memory
  • Monastery
  • Pantheon
  • Privileged burial
  • Salvation
  • Sarcophagus


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