Discover the Museum of Aveiro and the Church of the Convent of Jesus, in the city of Aveiro. Both are integrated and house a fine collection of historical artifacts.
AVEIRO MUSEUM AND JESUS CONVENT CHURCH
Founded in the 19th century, the Aveiro Museum is one of the most important museums in the country and houses a wide collection of historical and cultural artifacts. It is located in a large house built in 1458 that housed the Convent of Jesus of the Dominican Order, where he lived Princess Santa Joana, daughter of Afonso V, who was beatified in 1693. The place became famous for being precisely associated with the presence of Princess Santa Joana and, therefore, the museum is also known as Museu de Aveiro Santa Joana.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the museum underwent several reforms and expansion works, aiming to preserve its artistic and cultural wealth. In 1834, religious orders were extinguished in Portugal. Although in the male convents, the order was immediately extinguished, in the female ones, as is the case of the Convent of Jesus, cloistered life continued until the date of the death of the last friar, which occurred in 1874. In 1882, the building was handed over to the Dominican Third Order, which transformed it into the College of Santa Joana. However, in 1910, with the establishment of the Republic in the country, the college community was disbanded and the place was closed.
Since 1911, the Museum of Aveiro has been installed in this building, housing a beautiful collection of Portuguese baroque art that includes paintings, sculptures, carvings, as well as tiles, jewelery and textiles from the 14th to the 19th century. AIn addition, the museum's collection still houses collections of furniture, ceramics, glass, metals and archaeological items. The museum is integrated into the Church of the Convent of Jesus, with a beautiful baroque decoration in tiles and gilded carving, which houses a portrait of Princess Santa Joana.
WHAT TO VISIT AT THE AVEIRO MUSEUM
The Museum of Aveiro presents a visit circuit with two distinct parts: the monumental route and permanent exhibition. I confess that the museum was much bigger than I imagined and the collection is distributed in several rooms. Be aware that the museum closes for lunch (but it is possible to return using the same ticket).
>> MONUMENTAL ROUTE: THE CHURCH OF THE CONVENT OF JESUS
O monumental route by the former Convento de jesus displays the conventual spaces that survive to the present day. Most are sacred spaces. Due to various works, over the years, the cells, the infirmary, the apothecary, the workshops and the barns disappeared. At the convent ground floor you can admire the low choir, with the tomb of Princess Santa Joana; the Igreja de Jesus, connected by the Capela de Santo Agostinho; the Cloister, with its chapels; the Chapter Room; and the Refectory.
THE Church of the Convent of Jesus it was built in the 16th century and is known for its imposing architecture and beautiful ornamental details. It was originally built as a cloistered convent for nuns which operated from 1465 to 1874 and was later converted into a church. Princess Joana lived there between 1472 and 1490, when she died. The tomb of St. Joan is on site and is decorated in many shades of carved marble and Italian-style carvings.
One of the main highlights of the church is its magnificent chancel, whose decoration includes frescoes, gilded carvings and elaborate sculptures. In addition to the chancel, the church also has a number of other smaller chapels, each decorated with its own unique artwork, as well as beautiful tile work. The Church of the Convent of Jesus is considered one of the finest examples of renaissance architecture in Portugal.
At the lower floor of the convent, is also the cloister gives access to the upper floor where Alto Choir and devotional chapels, including the Chapel of Our Lady of Conception.
>> PERMANENT EXHIBITION: COLLECTION OF THE AVEIRO MUSEUM
Leaving the monumental route, it's time to visit the Museum of Aveiro itself. The previously existing structures of the convent were integrated to form what we now know as the Museum of Aveiro. In the permanent exhibition area, there are still two vestiges of the old convent that include the Labor Room and the Chapel of Senhor dos Passos. One of the most popular exhibits at the Museum of Aveiro is its ceramic tile collection, which includes pieces dating from the 15th to the 20th century, with emphasis on the Baroque period.
You can admire unique and detailed pieces, including both traditional Portuguese tiles and modernist pieces. In addition to ceramics, the museum also has a wide collection of art and artifact objects, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and decorative art. Most of the collection of decorative art is from sacred theme and it comes from both the Convent of Jesus and other monastic institutions that were extinguished in the 19th century.
Among the main highlights of the museum is a Sanctuary room in honor of Princess Santa Joana; O portrait of Saint Joan (c. 1472), attributed to Nuno Gonçalves; O Gothic tomb of the knight D. João de Albuquerque, from the 15th century; It is the statue of Our Lady of Piety, made of polychrome wood, produced in the 18th century.
- Address: Av. Santa Joana, 3810-164 Aveiro, Portugal
- Schedules: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 6 pm | closed on mondays
- Entrance: €4
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