João de Castilho, who is said to have been by birth a Biscayan, soon became the most famous architect of his time. He not only was employed on this Coro, but was afterwards summoned to superintend the great Jeronymite monastery of Belem, which he finished.
Philip had returned to Madrid, and shut himself up in grief in the great Jeronymite monastery. Elizabeth was praying for her step-son before the miraculous images of the same city. During the night of the 9th of May prayers went up for Don Carlos in all the churches of Toledo, Alcala, and Madrid. Alva stood all that night at the bed's foot.
All this is very like the great south door of the Jeronymite monastery at Belem, the work of Diogo's brother João de Castilho; both have a wide door below with a narrower window above, surrounded by a mass of pinnacles and statues, but here the lower door is far too wide, and the upper window too small, and besides the wall is set back a foot or two immediately on each side of the window so that the surface is more broken up.
The da Silvas had long had here a manor-house with a chapel, and in 1452 Dona Brites de Menezes, the wife of Ayres Gomes da Silva, the fourth lord of Vagos, founded a small Jeronymite monastery. Of her chapel, designed by Gil de Souza, little now remains, for the chancel was rebuilt in the next century and the nave in the seventeenth.
On the throne, his labors, as his admirers tell us, were those of "a poor clerk earning his bread," while his recreations were those of a Jeronymite monk. His intercourse with mankind was limited to the narrowest range of which his position would allow. Even with his ministers he preferred to communicate in writing.
Here resided a community of Jeronymite monks, in whose monastery he proposed to pass the remainder of his days. There were two roads by which it could be reached,—one an easy, winding highway, the other a rugged mountain-pass. But by the latter four days would be saved, and Charles, tired of the long journey, determined to take it, difficult as it might prove.
Peter's chapel and the pulpit in Santa Cruz may have been executed by the same man, namely by João de Ruão. Leaving São Marcos for a minute to finish with the works of Nicolas Chantranez, we turn to the small chapel of Nossa Senhora da Pena, founded by Dom Manoel in 1503 as a cell of the Jeronymite monastery at Belem.