THE IRON DOOR

PONTE DE LIMA

Massive hinges and bolts and a date: 1872.

Ponte de Lima

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TOWER

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A simple circular stair in stone, unpainted only at the treads. There are no landings so the spiral is continuous, something which would be impossible today but which gives it so much grace.

Coimbra, Seminário Maior.

Francesco Tamossi and Giacomo Azzolini, 1748-1765.

archived in EXTERIORS Baroque & RococoCoimbraDoors: InteriorFloors: stoneGiacomo AzzoliniHandrailsIronworkStairsStonework
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CHEVRON

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The choir-loft contains the organ keyboard and its walls are painted with images of more organ casework and pipes. A lantern with pulleys and counterweights hangs from the ceiling. The floors are in a stone chevron pattern, which continues into the halls of the Seminar proper.

Coimbra, Seminário Maior.

Francesco Tamossi and Giacomo Azzolini, 1748-1765.

archived in EXTERIORS ArchesBalconiesBaroque & RococoCeilings: VaultedChurches & ChapelsCoimbraDecorative finishesFloors: stoneGiacomo AzzoliniLightingOrgan CasesPilastersWoodwork
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BIG DOOR

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A tour de force door in intarsio is surrounded by a monumental stone arch, with pilasters and columns of different sizes. They make it into an Architectural element all its own, so monumental it almost becomes too large for the room.

Coimbra, Seminário Maior.

Francesco Tamossi and Giacomo Azzolini, 1748-1765.

archived in EXTERIORS ArchesBaroque & RococoCoimbraColumnsDoors: InteriorGiacomo AzzoliniKeystonesPilastersStoneworkWoodwork
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NEAPOLITAN STATUES

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Made by Neapolitan sculptors, the statues are also lit in a dramatic way. Some are encased in plaster decorated niches at the corners under the balconies, others at the side altars in stone, all Baroque.

Coimbra, Seminário Maior.

Francesco Tamossi and Giacomo Azzolini, 1748-1765.

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RAZZLE AND DAZZLE

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The church of the Greater Seminary in Coimbra is not large, but it’s packed with theatrical devices. The plan consists of an elongated octagon as the main room, with a square chancel behind. Both have ceilings with decorative painting in perspective – the square room gets a handkerchief vault depicting a dome.

The main room receives a lantern and abundant, clerestory light. The chancel, in turn, has colored glass windows which, together with the ceiling tone, create a dramatic red glow and define it as a background scene. Both have balconies at a higher level, and in the octagonal hall they are oversized and boldly Baroque, one at each of the four diagonal corners.

The main altarpiece was made in Genoa. Directly facing it over the main door, the organ case takes over the entire bay, and spills into the Architecture as a floating, lively element.

In short, the whole is robust, sensorial and fun, and one of the most interesting interior spaces in Portugal.

Coimbra, Seminário Maior.

Francesco Tamossi and Giacomo Azzolini, 1748-1765.

archived in EXTERIORS ArchesBalconiesBaroque & RococoCeilings: VaultedChurches & ChapelsCoimbraColumnsCorbelsCupolasDecorative finishesGiacomo AzzoliniKeystonesOrgan CasesPedimentsPlasterworkSculptureStoneworkWoodwork
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