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Choir Stalls - Upper Choir

The construction of the imposing and monumental Manueline armchair, in carved and gilded wood, began in 1513. It is a reference work and reveals the Hispano-Flemish tendencies of the person responsible for the original design - the Flemish carver Machim.  This chair is a rare example of a Manueline chair that has survived to the present day unscathed, preserving its original design.

It was built in three successive projects, carried out by foreign master carvers-sculptors who had come to Portugal – Machim, John of Cologne and Francisco de Loret. This armchair was initially in the chancel but was moved to the upper choir so that the tombs of King Dom Afonso Henriques and King Dom Sancho I could be installed here.

At the top of the wall, each bas-relief illustrates an episode from the Maritime Epic (Epopee) of the Portuguese Discoveries.

The chairs are decorated with a profusion of fabular animals, and the misericords on the chairs depict numerous hagiographic, allegorical, and symbolic scenes and battles between vices and virtues.

The iconographic symbolism is very rich and has not yet been fully deciphered, which maintains a certain aura of mystery about it.

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