The chapter's window

Diogo de ArrudaXVI century

Convent of Christ

Convent of Christ
Tomar, Portugal

The Manueline Nave is embelished, inside and out, with an impressive array of symbolic sculptural ornamentations, both heraldic and sacred. All of the architectural elements (talon, pinnacles, buttresses, windows, etc) are surrounded by a profound plasticity due to these figurative themes, to the point of disguising their architectural and structural functions.

The most striking case of this formal treatment is seen on the windows of the Manueline Vestry, also known as the "Capitulum House". Initially there were three windows but only two remain now. One, to the south, is visible from the Main Cloister where and the remaining window of the western façade is famously known as the "Capitulum Window". Flanked by two gigantic buttresses, or "botaréus", this window is ornamented by an exuberant figurative universe, filled with maritime themes (wood, ropes, buoys, etc), the Order's insignia (the heraldic cross, the armillary sphere, the kingdom's coat of arms) and symbolic figures associated with the mystique of the Spiritual Cavalry and the role that the Order of Christ played in the enterprise of the Discoveries.


  • Title: The chapter's window
  • Creator: Diogo de Arruda
  • Date Created: XVI century
  • Location Created: Tomar, Portugal
  • Rights: DGPC em Portugal
  • Medium: Architecture

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