The Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, also referred to as Collegiate Church of Guimarães, located in Oliveira do Castelo parish, in Guimarães Historical Center in Braga District, Portugal. It is one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture in the north. The site occupation originates from a pre-Romanesque monastery founded by Mumadona Days in 949. For the protection of this monastery was built a fortification that preceded the current Guimarães Castle. At the beginning of the twelfth century, this monastery would place the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria de Guimarães, one of the most important and richest religious institutions in the country in the late Middle Ages.
The original Romanesque building materials there are few parts, and the documentation is insufficient for your understanding. It keeps one block from the XII century cloister, although quite modified during the Manueline period, where some capitals are visible, and the chapter house’s façade. A Romanesque capital, dating from the second half of the twelfth century and from the main entrance of the church, reveals a typically Benedictine iconography, alluding to the confrontation between good and evil.
During the fourteenth century the Collegiate became an important pilgrimage center due to the veneration of the image of Holy Mary, the same that would be object of devotion by John I of Portugal on the eve of the battle of Aljubarrota. In 1387, in fulfillment of a vow to Santa Maria, the sovereign himself finances the remodeling of the building. The works were completed almost entirely in 1401, having ceased work in 1413.
It is classified as a National Monument since 1910.
The church has a simple planimetric structure of three naves with three sections, with protruding transept common solution in the mendicant Gothic. The breakdown is given by other elements. The top level of the front window, large and organized as an altarpiece, is one of the best Gothic iconographic programs in Portugal. It is entirely dedicated to the genealogy of the Virgin, made by a Jesse Tree and the Annunciation of the Marian message. The Gothic era is still visible part of the roof trusses of the roof of the ships, decorated with panes of paintings with heraldry and iconography bestiária.
The project has John Garcia authored by Toledo, court architect and connected to the main works of the reign of Ferdinand I of Portugal which remained in office after the 1383-85 crisis.
During the modern age the building has undergone several changes and renovations. The new chapel, dating from the reign of Peter II of Portugal and is far more profound than the original. The interior was lined with gilded whose authorship is attributed to Pedro Alejandrino.
The Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira marks the end of a phase of the national Gothic, and the following decades marked by the enormous influence of English like the Monastery of Batalha would exercise throughout the territory.