Capela de São Frutuoso (Braga)
Monastery in Braga
The Monastery of São Salvador, which is thought to have been established by São Frutuoso, the bishop of Braga around 560, was originally intended as a tomb for the bishop. The present chapel was built in the 9th or 10th century.
The chapel is one of the few surviving examples of pre-Romanesque architecture in Portugal. It is characterized by the chapel’s Greek cross layout, the rounded apses and decoration in the interior, which includes arcades composed of three horseshoe-shaped arches, Corinthian capitals, and twin double arch openings, as well as an exterior frieze.
In 1523, Archbishop Diogo de Sousa of Braga ordered the construction of a monastery for the Franciscan Order of Capuchins near the chapel. When the monks needed a new convent church in 1728, they took over the chapel and destroyed its northern façade. In the late 19th century, the chapel was restored to its original structure, and further restoration work was undertaken in the 20th century, preserving the original style to the extent possible.
Inside the chapel, there is a tomb believed to be that of Saint Frutuoso. Following the Christian Reconquest in the 12th century, the saint became particularly popular, and his relics were taken to Santiago de Compostela at that time. As a result, this monument is also known as the Chapel of Saint Frutuoso.