It is nearly four months since we came across the angel on the stepladder so I thought it about time we returned to see what happened next. You may recall we found the angel in the upper cloister of Jerónimos Monastery and after he left we made our way to the upper choir.
The first mention of the upper choir in the historical records is in 1551 so the monks of the Hieronymites order had been praying and singing here for seven hours per day from at least 1550. The choir was designed by Diogo de Torralva, a Knight of the Royal Household and created by Diogo de Çarça and Filipe de Vries between 1548-1550. One of the highlights in the choir are the stalls carved in oak and chestnut, but it is only today as I prepare this post that I discover I didn’t take one single photograph of them!
Instead as you can see I took lots of the columns in close up and even the glass but despite spending quite a bit of time looking at the stall I apparently didn’t photograph them! Fortunately I did take shots of the view from the choir. It is rather splendid isn’t it. It was here that the monastery suffered the most damage in the earthquake of 1755. The balcony collapsed, and was not rebuilt until 1883 and that is the one that we all lean against today to enjoy the stupendous views of the church of Santa Maria.
You can visit the church of Santa Maria for free, but as we discovered visiting you don’t quite get the same effect of the glory of this building from the ground floor. Or maybe we felt like that because there were so many people in the church when we walked around. Obviously if the monastery queues are impossible then this is the best way to get a feel for the glory of this World Heritage Site, but if you have the time and/or there are no queues we recommend visiting the monastery first and only the church if you have time afterwards.
I am planning a third post on Jerónimos Monastery as despite the lack of photographs of the stalls I am still not even close to sharing all of my photographs of this amazing building. For now though if you would like more information on the monastery and surrounding museums I suggest you visit the official website, but before you go let me just remind you of the view from the cloisters. Isn’t this a wonderful place.