Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Montemor-o-Novo - Portugal

Montemor-o-Novo is a portuguese city in the Alentejo region, where some postcrossers had a meeting in the beginning of this month. I couldn't be there but when i can't go to meetings, we receive cards from those meetings. That's what happened this time. I've received not 1, but 4 signed cards. These have been sent by Miguel "leugim", Paula "geminiscp" and Zé "pilotOne". The other postcrossers that signed the cards were Vitória "blicas blocas", Luís "ludovico", Ana "ninocas" and Joana "joaninha".

All the cards show the Montemor-o-Novo castle and the last one also shows the Saudação Convent.

Montemor-o-Novo castle was built on the highest mountain in the region, based probably on the site of an old prehistoric fort, with later Roman and Moorish occupation.
It was conquered to the moors by D. Afonso Henriques and D. Sancho I conceded it the 1st charter in 1203.

The 1755 earthquake caused enough damage to the castle, which would require repairs. Having withstood the assaults during the French invasion, was phased out, speeding up the state of disrepair over the twentieth century.

Today, the castle retains the main boom of the wall, protected by eleven cylindrical towers and the ruins of the castle, or palace of Mayors, a building from the beginning of the thirteenth century.

The Convento de Nossa Senhora da Saudação (Convent of Our Lady of the Salutation) has its origin in a congregation composed by some women led by Joana Dias Quadrada. They came together to practice a life devoted to retreat and devotion, initially without being subject to the rules of any religious order.

The work for the construction of the Convent must have started around 1502.
The convent’s church is an interesting example of Classic Baroque architecture.

The Convent, pertaining to the Dominican Order, was always inhabited by a large number of nuns. During the 18th century it housed 65 sisters. With the extinction of the convents in 1874 and the death of the last prioress, the building was occupied by the State and in 1876 it became an asylum for poverty stricken children called Asilo de Infância Desvalida and there it remained until the 1960s.

In recent years, the Convent has undergone some specific restoration work, such as the partial recovery of its ceiling. This occurred during the second half of the 1990s and was carried out by D.G.E.M.N. It prevented the further deterioration of this valuable and monumental architectural complex. In 1998, the Municipal Council undertook the restoration of the woodwork in the church. At present, the building is occupied by the transdisciplinary centre O Espaço do Tempo and the archeology workshop entitled Oficina de Arqueologia do Programa do Castelo da Câmara Municipal de Montemor-o-Novo. - in: http://www.oespacodotempo.pt/en/esp_tem.php?idpan=convento

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