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Chapter Room

The Chapter Room or Chapter House is so called as it is the place of regular meetings between monks, which begin with a reading of a chapter from the Book of Rules. At these meetings, the election of abbots and the reception of new novices are discussed and individual failings are publicly confessed.
Originally designed for that purpose, the Monastery's Chapter Room was never used as such because the vaulted ceiling and interior decoration were only completed in the 19th century. The doorway was completed in 1517-18, having been made by Rodrigo de Pontezilha. Its decoration features two images representing St. Bernard and St. Jerome.
The tomb of Alexandre Herculano was placed in the centre of the room in the 19th century, with Eduardo Augusto da Silva alongside him. In 1940 the tomb was modified, with only the tomb itself remaining. The Chapter Room was also used as a pantheon for other writers and Portuguese Presidents until completion of the Church of Santa Engrácia. When the latter was converted into the Portuguese National Pantheon, the remains of figures from recent Portuguese History were transferred to there.