The monumental interior of São Gonçalo in Amarante reflects the style of similar-sized churches in Portugal at the time: vaulted coffered and domed ceilings with a simple structural grid that repeats throughout; simple but fully articulated architectural profiles, and a “Roman” composition based on the triumphal arch motif. The dome is deformed, either naturally or due to poor execution (likely both) but this is noticed only when seeing it directly from below.
The plastered white surfaces between the stone elements reinforce the structural “cage” effect which defines these churches (in Porto and Coimbra, for example, the all-stone interior attenuates this). However, interestingly enough a great deal of the stonework is painted, either with scrolling leaves as in the columns above or with strapwork motifs in the back – more on this later on.
Igreja de São Gonçalo, Amarante, Architect Mateus Lopes (Mateo Lopez)