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Catedral de Santa Maria de Braga
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Catedral de Santa Maria de Braga

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Braga has always been an important centre for culture, commerce and religion. Braga is marked by a long clerical history. Consequently, Braga is bristling with churches and monasteries. The cathedral in Braga, one of the most important cathedrals in Portugal, doesn’t impress from the outside but has some beautiful features on the inside, such as two elaborate gold organs. Due to its long history and artistic significance The Cathedral of Braga is one of the most important buildings in the country. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Braga. The Diocese of Braga dates from the 3rd century AD, being one of the oldest in the peninsula. When Roman power was being dissolved by invading Germanic tribes, Braga (then called Bracara Augusta) became the capital of the Suebi Kingdom (409 to 584). Bishop Martin of Dumio, a great religious figure of the time, converted the Suebi to Catholicism around 550.
The popular descriptions of the various regions of Portugal goes something like this, "In Braga they pray, in Coimbra they study, in Porto they work, in Lisbon they govern, and in the Algarve they play."

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  • The tomb, guarded by six stone lions, has the life-size statue of the archbishop, with his head resting over a pillow held by angels. The sides of the tomb are decorated with images of the apostles and clergymen. In the early 16th century the chapel was painted with interesting geometrical motifs of Moorish influence, very similar to Sevillian tiles.
  • other independent chapel form part of the monumental assemblage of Braga cathedral, that of St. Gerald (São Geraldo) which was constructed originally in the 12th century, though down through the centuries it has undergone a series of alterations, primarily during the baroque period though its façade was completely reconstructed in the restoration carried out in the 1940s. The interior space, remodelled by Dom Rodrigo de Moura Teles, and chosen as the resting place for his tomb, is covered with glazed painted tiles, azulejos, which are reputed to be the work of the great António de Oliveira Bernardes.
  • Legend has it that, on the day of his death, December 5, 1108, "St. Gerard found himself very ill, at death's door, in Bornes, on the cold earth, in early December, surrounded the shack where he had taken refuge with their family, fleeing the snow fell abundantly for those lands. In the ardor of fever that consumed him, ask one of your family that will bring a few pieces of fruit to quench the thirst and give a bit of encouragement to his weakened body. Replied that his servant, that place and that time wintery, the trees were stripped of foliage and fruit. Power would perhaps find even some chestnuts scattered on the floor and nothing more. The St. Gerard responds this observation: "go and look". So, for a crack of the door he entered the regelante cold, the servant saw that the trees outside, around the yard, were flowering and stuffed with beautiful fruit "
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    • 1. http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/sandamichaela-1977207-braga3x/
    • 2. The popular descriptions of the various regions of Portugal goes something like this, "In Braga they pray, in Coimbra they study, in Porto they work, in Lisboa they govern, and in the Algarve they play." Braga has always been an important centre for culture, commerce and religion. The cathedral in Braga, one of the most important cathedrals in Portugal, is another one that doesn’t impress from the outside but has some beautiful features on the inside, such as two elaborate gold organs. The altar is a majestic red and gold, with an impressive number of candles, and there are three aisles and five chapels. It also has a renowned statue called Our Lady of the Milk, with Mary nursing the baby Jesus.
    • 3. Notable is the main chapel of the apse, rebuilt in 1509 under Archbishop Diogo de Sousa by basque architect João de Castilho. The exterior of the chapel has beautiful late gothic and manueline tracery with gargoyles and pinnacles, matched in the interior of the chapel by intricate ribbed vaulting Madonna del latte Our Lady of the Milk
    • 4. Madonna del latte
    • 5. The early Romanesque façade has been totally suppressed, except for some archivolts and capitals of the main portal
    • 6. Sao Frutuoso Sao Gerardo
    • 7. Detail of the inner archivolt of the main portal (late 12th or early 13th century)
    • 8. The figures of one archivolt, with hens, foxes and a minstrel, may be telling a moralistic song like the Roman de Renart, of French tradition
    • 9. Due to its long history and artistic significance The Cathedral of Braga is one of the most important buildings in the country. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Braga. The Diocese of Braga dates from the 3rd century AD, being one of the oldest in the peninsula. When Roman power was being dissolved by invading Germanic tribes, Braga (then called Bracara Augusta) became the capital of the Suebi Kingdom (409 to 584). Bishop Martin of Dumio, a great religious figure of the time, converted the Suebi to Catholicism around 550.
    • 10. Its twin spires are typical of the Portuguese style that can be seen throughout Braga.
    • 11. Braga Cathedral has three aisles covered by a wooden roof, a transept and five Eastern chapels in the apse. None of the chapels is original romanesque anymore: the main chapel is manueline, while the others are heavily decorated in baroque style
    • 12. The Braga Cathedral, the oldest archdiocese in Portugal, is the most important monument of this city. Indeed, this is its crowing glory. The current building dates to the 12th century and was built on the wishes of Henrique and Teresa, parents of the first king of Portugal Afonso Henriques. Their tombs are to be found inside.
    • 13. According to legend, Saint Peter of Rates (São Pedro de Rates) was first bishop of Braga between 45 and 60, appointed by Apostle Saint James the Great. His remains are supposedly kept in a chapel of the cathedral. Antipope Gregory VIII (d.1137): Maurice Bourdin (Maurício Burdino) was the second Archbishop of Braga. Of French origin, helped organise the diocese. He was involved in a dispute between Germanic Emperor Henry V and the Pope, and was elected (anti)Pope as Gregory VIII by the Emperor's followers. Pope John XXI (c.1215-1277): Born in Lisbon as Pedro Julião, was Archbishop of Braga in the 13th century. Elected Pope in 1276.
    • 14. Choir stall, carved woodwork by Miguel Francisco da Silva (1737)
    • 15. A high choir was added near the entrance of the cathedral in the baroque period
    • 16. This choir is beautifully decorated with a painted ceiling and sculptured gilt wood (talha dourada) choir stalls executed around 1737 by Miguel Francisco da Silva. In front of the high choir there are two gilt wood organs, carved by renowned sculptor Marceliano de Araújo in the 1730s, heavily decorated with baroque and fantastic motifs. These are among the most impressive gilt wood works in
    • 17. Organ, carved woodwork by Marceliano de Araújo (1737-1739)
    • 18. The main chapel at the east end is roofed with stone rib vaulting and its walls are decorated with a 14th-century statue of the Virgin Mary (Nossa Senhora de Braga). During the remodeling of the main chapel, Archbishop Diogo de Sousa also commissioned a stone altar, but most of it has been lost. The part still preserved is used as altar table and has beautiful reliefs of Christ and the Apostles. Portugal has no official religion. The most predominant religion in Portugal is Roman Catholicism. According to the 2011 Census, 81% of the population of Portugal is Catholic, though only about 19% attend mass and take the sacraments regularly, while a larger number wish to be baptized, married in a church, and receive Last Rites.
    • 19. In contrast to that of Spain, Roman Catholicism in Portugal was softer and less intense. The widespread use of folk practices and the humanization of religion made for a loving though remote God, in contrast to the harshness of the Spanish vision. In Portugal, unlike Spain, God and his saints were imagined as forgiving and serene. In Spain, the expressions depicted on the faces of saints and martyrs were painful and anguished; in Portugal they were complacent, calm, and pleasant
    • 20. The gothic Chapel of the Glory (Capela da Glória) was built between 1326 and 1348 to be the resting place for Archbishop Gonçalo Pereira. The lateral walls of Glory chapel are covered in a geometric decoration made up of huge squares, one of the oldest examples of fresco painting in Portugal.
    • 21. Tomb of Afonso de Portugal (born 1390 - dead 1400) in South Tower of Braga Cathedral
    • 22. The Chapel of Piety (Capela da Piedade) was built by Archbishop Diogo de Sousa around 1513
    • 23. Other independent chapel form part of the monumental assemblage of Braga cathedral, that of St. Gerald (São Geraldo) which was constructed originally in the 12th century. During the baroque period its façade was completely reconstructed in the restoration carried out in the 1940s.
    • 24. The interior space, remodelled by Dom Rodrigo de Moura Teles, and chosen as the resting place for his tomb, is covered with glazed painted tiles, azulejos, which are reputed to be the work of the great António de Oliveira Bernardes
    • 25. Gerald of Braga, born in Cahors, Gascony, was a Benedictine monk at Moissac, France. He later worked with the archbishop in Toledo, Spain, and served as cathedral choir director. He later became the reforming Bishop of Braga, Portugal in 1100 and stopped ecclesiastical investiture by laymen in his diocese. Once a year (December, 5) his chapel is decorated with fruits
    • 26. In 1107 Count Henri de Bourgogne (Henry of Burgundy) and Bishop Geraldo de Moissac managed to convince the Pope to turn Braga into a powerful archbishopric, with authority over much of the surrounding area. Construction on the cathedral was then resumed under Henri de Bourgogne and Dona Teresa, and continued throughout the 12th century.
    • 27. Text: Internet Pictures: Internet Sanda Foişoreanu Gabriela Cristescu Copyrights of the photos belong to each photographer Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda Sound: Gérard Lesne - Pásame por Dios barquero; Tantum ergo sacramentum; Não tragais borzeguis pretos; Yo sonhava que me ablava - O Lusitano (Portuguese vilancetes, cantigas & romances)

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