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Chappel of the Thirds

Chappel of the Thirds

In the course of the XVIII century, the churches of Braga were the object of profound renovations, occurring, simultaneously, the building of new temples, in a constructive impulse of great impact, which revealed the work of masters as significant as Manuel Fernandes da Silva. The Church of the Thirds (Igreja dos Terceiros), implanted in the historical center of the city, was one of the first examples of these dynamics, granting its construction of the Third Order of St. Francis (Ordem Terceira de São Francisco), who wanted to have their own headquarters (originally in the Cathedral of Braga (Sé de Braga), with bylaws approved in 1615 (retired in 1680) and after in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit (Capela Espírito Santo), in Hospital of S. Marcos) (MENDES, 1994). The land was acquired in the late decade of the XVII century and the known documents go back to the first contract to the churches’ construction, signed by master Domingos Moreira, on the 1st of February of 1694. A lot of other contractual documents followed up (OLIVEIRA, 1993, p.48), but it still stays unidentified the author of the project, whose values were still too connected to the mannerism. This reference to the architectural values of the XVI century might be the reason why the façade was demolished, in 1707, substituted by another one, built by Manuel Fernandes da Silva, and quite possibly, closest to the force of the baroque architecture, emerging then (especially at the level of rated). In reality, the front of the Church of the Thirds (Igreja dos Terceiros) presents a very similar structure to the one we observe in the Church of S. Vítor (Igreja de São Vítor), and in the Church of S. Vicente (Igreja São Vicente), built in the same period, although the decorative elements of the Church of the Thirds (Igreja dos Terceiros) are more restrained. The three examples also share the same volume organization, with a bell tower in the main chapel axis.

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