Religious, mannerist architecture. Parish church of longitudinal plan, composed and single nave with main façade in gable and axial and lateral portal S. typically Mannerist, showing altarpieces of Mannerist and Baroque carvings inside. Church with façades of the nave marked, rhythmically, by buttresses, a characteristic element of the religious architecture of the surrounding region of Miranda do Douro, creating in the interior four sections by three diaphragm arches, in a pointed way. The use of these broken diaphragm arches makes the church an early example of Gothic revivalism. Main façade with a window, framed in the shape of a cross with a circular base, made later, surmounted by insignia of the Order of Malta. Altarpieces, in gilded and polychrome carving, mannerist (collateral on the side of the Gospel), transitioning between Mannerism and Baroque (case of the main altarpiece) and Baroque, national style (the lateral ones). With the exception of the mor, all these altarpieces have a strong popular character, conferred by polychrome refinishes. Also noteworthy is the altarpiece of the Souls, with a marked popular character, where angels and Franciscans try to rescue the souls from fire, from the Devil and demonic angels, portrayed as monstrous or animalistic black figures. The altarpiece has a great formal and stylistic resemblance to the Almas altarpiece of the Parish Church of Sendim, and may indicate to be the work of the same master carver. It also has evocative inscriptions of the construction, on the soffit of the triumphal arch, and sepulchral tombstones epigraphed on the floor of the chancel.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.