Saint Antony was patron and honorary colonel-in-chief of the local regiment and, according to tradition, the statue that's inside the church accompanied it on various campaigns during the Peninsular War (1807-11).
Near the altar is the grave of Hugh Beatty, an Irish colonel who commanded the Lagos regiment during the 17th-century wars with Spain. He died in 1709 and his motto was "non vi sed arte" (not with force but with skill).
This 18th-century church is dedicated to Santo António and on is interior we can see in the lower section of the walls blue and white tiles, the rest of the walls got great examples of Baroque carving.
Cherubs, beasts, flowers and scenes of hunting and fishing, surround eight panel paintings of miracles performed by St. Antony.
When we arrived at Lagos, the church was already closed, so we only could see the façade.
This breathtaking golden church is highlight of Lagos. It was built in 1769 as chapel in Portuguese Baroque style. The interior is completely gilded and carved.
The church is part of the town museum. This museum is very interesting although it is not very transparent. Not all exhibits are marked with a description and you do not really find a structure in the exhibit halls.
Opening times: 9.00 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 17.00 daily - closed on mondays and fridays
Price: 370 Esc/person
Lagos' claim-to-fame, this churches plain façade with dissimilar bell towers, dating from 1715, contrasts sharply with the extravaganza of its beautiful and richly decorated interior, which is covered in gold. Its blue-and-white azulejos (18th century) and gilded, intricate wooden carvings (among the most beautiful in the country) fill every inch of the walls of the nave, together with six Baroque paintings by Mestre José Joaquim Rasquinho, representing the miracles of St. Anthony. The wooden vault was painted with a trompe-l'oeil effect while the polychrome statues of cherubs playing with animals and fishes are a delight to the eye. All this over-the-topness probably came to be because it was used as a place of worship for military personnel before taking off on their long voyages and so was given money upon their return as thanks. It's simply amazing but unfortunately, the powers at be don't like people taking photos of it, although I managed some quick slightly blurred shots when no-one was around.
Opening hours: 09.30h to 12.30h and 14.00h to 17.00h. Closed Monday and holidays
Rua Silva Lopes
The Lagos Museam is connected with the
Church of Santo António (St Anthony).
Rebuilt in 1769 at the initiative of the commander of the Lagos Regiment of Infantry, it served him as a chapel.
For that reason the image of the patron saint received a captain's wages, increased to those of a lieutenant-general from1780 onwards.
The facade is typically baroque with an interesting eye-window and pediment. It has two belt towers of different proportions On the lateral facade there is a large porch formed by a renaissance portal (16th century), originally taken from the Former Compromisso Maritimo (Maritime Agreement) The charm of the church resides principally in the rich profusion of gilded carving to be found inside it, which covers the high altar and the side walls, making it a prime example of what is one of the most striking features of the Portuguese baroque. Whimsical baroque forms are to be found side by side with curiously realistic scenes (a pig being slaughtered, a fishing scene. etc) on the pedestals and lateral panels of the pilasters. Beneath the choir, there is a carved panel showing Our Lady nursing the Baby Jesus. Paintings depict scenes from the life of the saint. There is a tiled ashlar with kneeling angels (dating from around 1730). The roof is made of wood in imitation of the vault of a cradle, and is decorated with a painting in perspective. There are also statues of Santo António (St. Anthony) with a military sash, Santo Elói (St. Elói) and São José (St. Joseph) (18th Century).