And we keep our journey through my vacation's photos, this time at São Bento da Porta Aberta (or St. Benedict's Open Door), a Portuguese Christian sanctuary. The Shrine of St. Benedict's Open Door was originally a chapel built around 1640. The name of the sanctuary is explained by the fact that it was a shelter to travelers. The construction of the current sanctuary began in 1880 and was completed in 1895.
I love photographing churches, and even thought these are one of the most difficult places to photograph, due to the lack of good lighting, photographing sacred art is always a challenge and a pleasure for me. This part of the sanctuary portrayed in my photos is actually quite recent. In my opinion, it resembles a temple, rather than a church. All the space around the actual church is arranged in a U shape, with windows and wide open spaces facing the mountains. This part of the sanctuary is also decorated with tile panels, which were painted by Cherub Lapa. This is actually the first modern church that I ended up liking. It has definitely to do with the involving space and the architecture of the place. I find it to be quite different from regular old churches: to start off, the lighting plays a huge a role here. All the construction is open and exposed to a lot of lighting. And there's also the architecture of this zone, which is completely different from the one of a traditional church. I like to think that this work as a metaphor for the church's opening to the modern world we live in.