Travanca Monastery, Portugal (Romanesque, 12th century).

Tradition says that Garcia Moniz, son of Moninho Viegas, “O Gasco”, was the founder of this monastery in the second half of the 11th century.

The church itself was built in the 12th century, standing out within the context of the Portuguese Romanesque heritage by its eccentric dimensions and the importance of its sculptural ornamentation in the capitals.

Also noteworthy is the fortified tower right next to the church, as it was then seen as a symbol of safety and, in the absence of castles, churches represented the best fortresses.
Regardless of the function it was intended to, the religious nature and an alleged military willingness are, in these cases, inseparable. It is also for this reason that the tower of Travanca must be understood as an element of manorial assertion, i.e., the family power over a region.


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