Monastery of Saint Mary of Cárquere - Rota do Românico

Of the Romanesque construction of the monastic complex of Cárquere, of which the spatial organization still prevails, nowadays, besides the tower, only the crevice in the funeral chapel of the Resendes remains.

Cárquere binds with the feudal power of this family, overlapping history and the legend that credits the foundation of the Monastery to Egas Moniz, the schoolmaster and governor of King Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, after the miraculous healing of the king's legs.

Inside, the crevice in the pantheon of the Resendes presents a geometric ornamentation and, outside, the motifs of the so-called beak-heads [animal head with a prominent beak].

The capitals feature representations of birds. The images of the Virgin of Cárquere and of the Virgin of Milk also remain from medieval times.

The former has raised people's curiosity by its size and, especially, for having been found, according to legend, in the wilderness where, later on, the Monastery would be founded.

The Church's structure is a blend of various styles: the ribbed vault and the chancel window are of Gothic nature, and the arrangement of main and north-side portals comprises the “Manueline style” (Portuguese late Gothic).

The remaining mural paintings on the nave are from the same “Manueline” period and represent Saint Anthony and Saint Lucia and a set of fluttering angels.

Type: Monastery

Classification: National Monument - 1910

Route: Douro Valley

1125 - Friar Teodoro de Melo read (in 1732) an inscription found on the walls of the Residential Manor, which he deemed as being a reference to the foundation of the Monastery of Saint Mary of Cárquere;

12th century (2nd quarter) - Foundation of the Monastery of Saint Mary of Cárquere;

1146 - In his will, D. Egas Moniz is likely to have left several legacies to the Monastery of Saint Mary of Cárquere;

12th/13th century - Construction of the monastic ensemble of Saint Mary of Cárquere, including the tower;

1279 - The Bull of Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280) confirms the autonomy and prerogatives of the Monastery of Cárquere;

13th/14th century - Construction of the Church's Gothic chancel;

1320 - The Monastery of Saint Mary of Cárquere was the only monastery held by the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine within the Diocese of Lamego;

15th century (1st half) - Possible construction of the Resendes pantheon;

16th century - Manueline transformation of the Church of Saint Mary of Cárquere;

1511 - The Monastery of Cárquere was handed over to the commendatory abbot Francisco Suzarte;

1541 - By order of King D. João III (1521-1557), Cárquere becomes part of the assets of the Society of Jesus;

1545-1560 - Mural painting campaign on the Church's volume;

1554 - Official Inquiry to the Monastery and its canons;

1562 - Cárquere is definitely handed over to the Society of Jesus;

1578 - The Bull of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) dissolves Cárquere's cloistered obligations and confirms the transfer of its rents from the prior and convent boards to the Jesuit College of Coimbra;

1600 - With the death of the vicar Baltasar Botelho, a dispute between the Jesuits and the bishop of Lamego breaks out over the ownership and presentation of the Church of Cárquere;

17th and 18th centuries - Design of Cárquere's altarpiece structures;

1759 - With the expulsion of the Jesuits and the confiscation of their assets, the monastic complex of Cárquere falls under the administration of the University of Coimbra;

1775-1797 - The inspectors make several complaints and admonitions concerning the state of disrepair of the complex of Cárquere and its liturgical furnishings;

1797 - Joaquim José, from Enxertado, and José Pinto de Figueiredo, from Paços, were hired to carry out thorough works in the ecclesiastical building's structure and annexes;

1798 - Upon a request by the Royal Council of the University, the parish priest of Cárquere prepared a comprehensive inventory of the furniture, implements and vestments, as well as of the incomes, expenses and a few statistical elements regarding the parish;

18th century (2nd half) - Walling up of the door that connected the priests' house with the Church's volume;

1806 - Repair works in the cloister, where a wall had collapsed in the previous year;

1829-1832 - Several masonry works were carried out in Cárquere's Church, sacristy and residence;

1950-2012 - The remaining ensemble of the Monastery of Cárquere has been subject to several conservation interventions;

2010 - Integration of the Monastery of Saint Mary of Cárquere in the Route of the Romanesque;

2015 - Intervention for the conservation of the roofs and external walls, under the scope of the Direção Regional de Cultura do Norte;

2017 - Safeguarding of the area surrounding the Monastery of Cárquere: landscape rehabilitation in Carvalhal Park, within the scope of the Route of the Romanesque.

Saint Mary - 15th August

By appointment

Saturday - 5 pm (winter) / 6.30 pm (summer); Sunday - 8.15 am and 11.30 am

Monument not accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.

+351 255 810 706

+351 918 116 488

How to get here:

41.087299, -7.95801

Rua do Mosteiro, Cárquere, Resende, Viseu

Northern Portugal: A28/A3/A7/A24/A11 » A4 (Vila Real) » Mesão Frio/Régua » N101 Mesão Frio » Gestaçô » Resende » Rota do Românico/Mosteiro de Cárquere.

Porto: A4 (Vila Real) » Mesão Frio/Régua » N101 Mesão Frio » Gestaçô » Resende » Rota do Românico/Mosteiro de Cárquere.

Central/Southern Portugal: A1 (Porto) » IP3 (Viseu) » A24 (Vila Real) » Bigorne » Rota do Românico/Mosteiro de Cárquere.

Resende: Rota do Românico/Igreja Mosteiro de Cárquere.

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