Sé Catedral de Vila Real
The nationalisation of monastic assets in 1834 and a devastating fire in 1897 resulted in the destruction of the entire former convent apart from the church. In 1922, it became the Cathedral when Vila Real was made a diocese by pope Pious XI.
The layout of the church is that common to many medieval Portuguese churches with its three naves cut by a transept. On the western facade, two hefty abutments provide an external reference to the three naves. Between them, there is a section that includes the simply constructed porchway flanked on either side by three columns.
Inside the central nave, the highest, is separated from the lateral by four large ogival arches, with the dividing pillars surrounded by four columns. Try and make out, amongst the sculpted foliage on the chapters, some of the charming naturalist medieval figures carved into the hard granite. They feature the predominant social classes of the medieval times: the priest, the soldier, the hunter, hidden with spear ready awaiting a wild boar, and peasants picking grapes.