AS RODAS DA MISERICÓRDIA

At the entry to the giant Arouca Monastery, there are a couple of revolving door Lazy Susans, at a time its only means of communication with the outside world. If trade and gifting to the nuns was their original purpose, the placement and abandon of undesired babies became its trademark. Hence it receiving the monicker “Roda dos expostos” (something like “wheel of the unprotected”). The children would be raised at the Monastery and then sent off to another institution before entering adult life.

In this case they could have had it worse – the Monastery of Arouca was at a time one of the richest in the country, mostly inhabited by the daughters of the 16th c. nobility.

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Arouca, Arouca

archived in EXTERIORS ArchesAroucaBalconiesCorbelsDoors: ExteriorExterior stepsIronworkMonasteries and ConventsPilastersStonework
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