Saint Francis Church

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The Franciscan Order of Guimarães dates back to 1217, when in Portugal King Afonso II reigned. At this time the friars were always in conflict with the collegiate of Guimarães, which tried to prevent the installation of the Franciscan Order in the city. The convent did not last long, as it was close to the walls and had to be demolished (1325), as it compromised the safety of the village. It was then that D. João I, in 1400, ordered to rebuild the convent, where it is currently.

 

We emphasize the main portal reminiscent s still Romanesque; the head of the church, which is still the original, in Gothic style, finished around 1461 (this year D. Constança de Noronha (1395-1480), 1st Duchess of Bragança, entered the Third Order of St. Francis and, at death, was buried in the church (the tomb with its springing profile can still be seen inside).         

The church underwent several alterations between the 15th and 18th centuries. 

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In the 16th century, the two-story cloisters were built in a classic profile (mannerist style). The most important transformation takes place in the interior, from Gothic to Baroque, when in the 1740s the church nave was totally altered - the nave's arches and columns were suppressed, creating a unified church-hall space.  

  

During this centuries hagiographic tile panel are introduced reporting Saint Anthony's life; a new Joanino costume sacristy is elaborated, with a painted coffin ceiling and blackwood arches; and finally, the main altarpiece, designed by Miguel Francisco da Silva, was built in 1743 and executed by Manuel da Costa Andrade.

In the 20th century restoration works were carried out without significant changes to the overall appearance of the building. 

It is classified as a Property of Public Interest.