The Monastery of Saint Peter of Cête is an example of religious , Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with a monastic Church, of single nave with longitudinal plan and a chancel with two flights of semicircular crowning and a gabled frontispiece, usually considered Romanesque, although classified by Almeida as Gothic, since it results from a reconstruction of the 14th century.
From the primitive Romanesque Church, possibly from the second half of the twelfth century, some decorated stonework, the portal of the cloister and the bottom of the walls of most of the nave were preserved. The battled tower and the powerful buttress which runs alongside the portico emphasize the defensive nature of its construction.
The décor of the façade, the ratio between the Church’s length and width, between the transept’s height and that of the nave, and the sculpture of the capitals and that of the corbels give evidence of the Gothic style of this Monastery.
From the ancient construction, the first rows of the nave and, probably, its South portal, leading to the cloister, were reused.
In the series of works carried out in the 13th and 14th centuries, the chancel was rebuilt, the nave increased in height and length and the main façade was completely remodelled. A good amount of initials, almost all geometric, may also be found on the walls.
The façade of the chevet has its own characteristics of Romanesque, while using blind arcades to liven up and rhythm the wall. The corbels supporting the cornice are, however, clearly from the Gothic period, as is the ratio between the nave’s height and that of the chevet.
The main portal rekindles traits from the epigonal Romanesque, although the lateral portal to the North is to be considered as Gothic.
The tower that shelters the burial chapel of D. Gonçalo Oveques, in addition to the bell function, assumes the symbolic representation of a lordship, as, in medieval times, the abbot was usually a nobleman. Faced with its robust and defensive look, it would not be, at all, a tower meant for housing.
In the Manueline period, the Monastery underwent a renovation process, namely in the cloister, the Chapter Room, the buttresses of the main facade which reinforce the tower, the decoration of the vault in the funerary chapel and of the arcosolium of D. Gonçalo Oveques.
The chapel's interior also received polychrome tile panels, of Hispanic-Moorish origin, composed of different patterned ashlars: phytomorphic, geometrical and ribbons.
The panels, which resort to blue, green and brown on white background, are edged by frames of simplified geometric design.