Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.1/2715
Título: Convents as urban elements: morphological analysis of cities in Southern Portugal
Autor: Marado, Catarina Almeida
Data: 2010
Resumo: The history of religious communities in Western Europe can be briefly characterized by a double tendency of a model life of devotion: on one hand, a life of isolation found only in God, on the other hand, the finding of God in relationships with others. The first practiced by monastic orders which first appeared in the eleventh century and the latter which emerged in the thirteenth century with the mendicant orders. The monastic communities, mainly, Benedictines and Cistercians, sough isolation by settling in rural areas, where they built sumptuous buildings - the monasteries – while the mendicant communities (namely the Benedictines and Cistercians) settled in cities, building their modest houses – the convents – in the proximity of urban areas. Monasteries and convents reflect in this way the characteristics of the religious life led by the different religious communities. Architecture appears as a tool through which to communicate the ideals of living a life of devotion. Nevertheless, the way in which it relates to the territory, or with its surroundings in particular, is also a fundamental element for the affirmation of its spiritual doctrines. Therefore, the choice of place for the building of their home was for the religious orders an essential aspect in order to determine its foundation. Consequently these buildings – monasteries and convents – should also be seen and interpreted as territorial organisms (Marado, 2007) whether they are found in a rural or an urban space. Interpreted in its architectural dimension, these religious spaces are constructions consisting of three elements: a church, surrounding buildings and fence. In artistic terms, the church is the most prominent of the buildings, communicating directly with the outside world. The premises consist of a series of spaces, ordered and hierarchized, in terms of symbols and function, being that the cloister is at the center of it all, organizing and coordinating all the others. Finally, the fence (also designated as the garden) constitutes a non-built space, a green area that is outlined by a wall, which connects with the building, hence giving unity to the whole. In urbanistic terms convent spaces are important elements in the composition of the city. Their relationship with the urban space is made on various levels: they guide or constrain urban sprawl, participate in the design of the city and make the connection between the metropolis and the surrounding territory. Based on an analysis methodology that will take into account the different historical times and implementation models, this article aims to explore the consequences of the presence of convents in the urban space, through a comparative study of three cities in southern Portugal.
Peer review: no
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.1/2715
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