Chapel

The visitor should first of all pay attention to the entrance to the Chapel where there is a set of columns made of marble. It is said, although with no documentary proof, that they belonged originally to the Salah ben Salah Palace in Ceuta and were brought to the Palace in 1415, by Afonso, 1st Duke of Bragança, who had participated in the conquest of the African city. Over the door there is a copy of what is supposed to be the Coat of Arms of the Dukes of Bragança, which was recreated in the 1950’s by the Sculptor Teixeira Lopes.

When the restoration of the Palace of Dukes was begun in the 1930’s, the walls, the window, the door and the staircase were still intact and in place in the Chapel. However, the big window no longer had the original stained glass nor the other contents of the Chapel. Therefore, it was decided that it should be rebuilt and furnished accordingly to what a typical Chapel from the 15th century should look like. The Architect Mário Barbosa Ferreira was commissioned to design the carpentry works that presently decorate the Chapel – the altar and the altar, the balconies, the chairs, the balustrade of the choir and pews – were all designed and produced in 1959 in chestnut wood.

In the stained-glass window, created by António Lino, there are represented, on the left-hand side in the first big window Afonso, 1st Duke of Bragança, Afonso I, 1st king of Portugal and Constança de Noronha, 1st Duchess of Bragança;. Also appearing on the upper part is Saint Anthony, Jesus Christ and Francis of Assisi. On the second big window (right-hand side), the following are represented: Philippa of Lancaster, John I and Nuno Álvares Pereira; and in upper part, Saint George, Saint Marie of Guimarães and James, son of Zebedee.

On the sidewalls, two representative copies of 19th century Italian paintings on canvas may be seen: one by Raphael (‘Transfiguration’, 1518-1520) and the other by Domenico Zampiere (‘Last Communion of St. Jerome’, 1614).

A set of four pieces of furniture may also be seen – a chest, a trunk, a bench and a base – all constructed using an interpretation of elements originating from the Gothic (chest, trunk, and bench) and Renaissance period furniture (the base), which help us to appreciate and admire the quality of the Craftsmen of those periods.