World Monuments Fund Completes Restoration of 16th-Century Monastery and Church in Lisbon

Simão Pernas/World Monuments Fund

5.13.24

World Monuments Fund Completes Restoration of 16th-Century Monastery and Church in Lisbon

The international nonprofit organization that preserves historic architecture and cultural heritage sites has been working since 2000 on a key project at Jerónimos Monastery, a Portugese National Monument.

 

World Monuments Fund (WMF) has finished its work on an ambitious and lengthy project: the restoration of Jerónimos Monastery and Church, which is one of Portugal's most popular and important heritage sites. Partnering with the Património Cultural Instituto Público, WMF embarked on the operation in 2000 to restore the monument's domes, walls, facades, exteriors, and stained-glass windows, which had deteriorated because of water infiltration issues and the wear-and-tear of tourism. 

Commissioned by King Manuel I and now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jerónimos Monastery and Church is considered to be a paragon of Manueline (Portuguese late Gothic) architecture. The site holds religious and royal significance and is celebrated for its vaulted ceilings, botanical motifs, and intricate decorative images from the Passion and the Order of Christ Cross. WMF Portugal completed work on the cloister in 2002, and after identifying structural issues in the Santa Maria de Belém Church, it began restoration and conservation of that storied edifice in 2013. The site — which has remained opened during these projects — will undergo additional restoration processes.

WMF has been committed to preserving cultural spaces in Portugal since the early 1990s, when it restored the Tower of Belém in Lisbon. The organization is currently working on a longterm project to conserve the Almada Negreiros Murals at the Alcântara and Rocha do Conde d'Óbidos Maritime Stations. 

GRoW has supported the New York-based nonprofit's work over the years and provided funding for the Jerónimos project.

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