The church of Santa Engrácia (the National Pantheon, Lisbon, Portugal): building campaigns, conservation works, stones and pathologies
C. Figueiredo, L. Aires-Barros, M. J. Neto, 2010. "The church of Santa Engrácia (the National Pantheon, Lisbon, Portugal): building campaigns, conservation works, stones and pathologies", Limestone in the Built Environment: Present-Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past, B. J. Smith, M. Gomez-Heras, H. A. Viles, J. Cassar
Download citation file:
A study of the different building campaigns, restoration works, pathologies and stones used through time in the Church of Santa Engrácia (Portuguese National Pantheon) is presented. The changing fortunes of the monument make it a useful case study in terms of building stone use and decay. This bold baroque project, begun in the seventeenth century, remained without a roof until the 1960s. At that time the leader of the conservative regime of Estado Novo (‘New State’), António de Oliveira Salazar, decided to complete the building as a national pantheon to provide a memorial to some of the personalities of Portuguese history. A complementary approach between the geosciences and history of art identified the ancient and more recent quarries, and the main stone types, used during its different building campaigns and restoration/conservation works. The local stone variety ‘lioz’, extracted in the area around Lisbon, was the main type used. An overview of the current knowledge of the chemical, physical and mechanical characteristics of these stones is now available. Besides new data on the typology, causes and processes of the major weathering forms observed inside and outside the building, the building campaigns and restoration works are also presented.
Figures & Tables
Limestone is a highly successful and widely used building material, found in many important historic buildings and new monuments around the world. Whilst its success reflects its durability under a wide range of environmental conditions, there are still important questions surrounding the selection, use and conservation of building limestones. In order to make best use of new limestone today, and to conserve old limestone most effectively, we need to bring modern research methods to bear on understanding the characteristics of different limestones, what mortars to use, and how key limestones have responded to polluted atmospheres. This volume brings together recent inter-disciplinary research on these issues, illustrating the diversity of innovative techniques that are now being applied to furthering our understanding of building limestones.