|This paper will focus on acquisitions by parish churches and chapels in «comendas» of the Order of Santiago in eastern Algarve during the first half of the sixteenth century.
Visitation records show that throughout this period, parish churches and chapels in these «comendas» acquired vestments, altar cloths, chalices, images, retables, candle holders, lamps, baptismal fonts, books, tapestries, bells, in a word, a vast array of pieces in a variety of materials. It will be argued that the role of parishioners in this process was of paramount importance.
Eastern Algarve was not at the center of royal and court routes and yet its parish churches and chapels, however modest they seem to be today, when acquiring whatever was thought to be necessary then, looked for goods not only of Portuguese origin but from elsewhere in Europe (Flanders, Arras, Tournai, Seville) and even coming from a wider world, from places like Guinea and India. What were the kinds of goods imported from abroad? What was coming from where? What sort of churches and chapels acquired imported goods such as these? These will be some of the questions under analysis.|