Fun things to do in Tavira

  • Tavira - Portugal
    Tavira - Portugal
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    Our Lady of Carmel's Church & Convent

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    The third order of Our Lady of Carmel was founded at the beginning of the 17th century. In 1737, the brothers asked the Portuguese provincial office of the order of Carmel to build a monastery in Tavira and this was then built in 1745, although the church was only completed in 1789. Its interior ornamentation dates from the 1770's and reveals a late Baroque style. The chancel retable (1780) was made by the Italian sculptor Patricio Malatesta and the ceiling painting was done by Portuguese painter Jose Ferreira da Rocha.

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    Chapel of Our Lady of Livramento

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    This chapel, on the other side of the river, was built in 1708 accordingly to the unscripted tombstone in the main facade, ordered by the Priest Manuel Viegas Leal. The As Memórias Paroquiais - Parochial Memoirs - of 1758 are located on land which belongs to a farm called Quinta Ângela Clara, land of the influential Priest Doctor Henrique Leal Nunes da Gama Ataíde, nephew of the referred Priest Manuel Leal and Commissary of Santo Ofício.
    It is a chapel of small dimensions, with a nave covered by cradle vault and a shallow main chapel. The facade presents a porch introduced in the 19th century, being finished off by a curved front sided with two rooms.

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    Church of St Paul Hermit's Former Monastery

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    The old convent of the friars' hermits of St Paul was founded in 1606. After the extinction of the religious Orders in 1834, the convent was sold in a public auction and the church given to the brotherhood of Our Lady of Help. The interior contains an interesting painting collection, Woodwork and Religion Imagination from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, partly originating from other city churches and extinct convents. The retable of Our Lady of Carmo stands out, ordered in 1730 by the Third Order of Carmo to the woodcarver Gaspar Martins.

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    Chapel of Santa Ana

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    This is another charming small chapel that is located on the other side of the river from the main part of town. It's one of the oldest in Tavira with parts dating back to the Middle Ages plus it has records from 1518, at the time of the visitations of members of the Order of Santiago and St James. It is a single nave chapel, and inside, it has an altar with five panels with the central panel featuring an image of Our Lady of Mercy with the remaining paintings representing the Stations of the Passion of Christ.

    Open: 10am-12.30pm & 3-6.30pm.

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    Gate of King Manuel I

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    This is the only gate of the castle to have survived and was probably built during the reign of King Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521) who gave the town a Charter (1504), before raising it to a status of City on March 16th 1520.

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    Antigo Paco dos Corte-Reais

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    Located in the Castle grounds, this site was recently excavated by the Tavira Archaeological Association and is believed to have been the medieval residence of a noble family of the town called "Corte-Reais". Supported by the Portuguese crown, the family gained fame for exploring the north-eastern coast of America at the end of the 15th century. Excavations have unearthed Islamic and even Phoenician items.

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    Chapel of Our Lady of Consolation

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    This chapel dates from 1648 and was built by the Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation of Prisoners. Situated opposite the Old Jail (abolished in 1916), it takes its name from the fact that it was where prisoners sentenced to death spent their last hours. The simple interior features tiles dating from the 17th century and several paintings depicting the Virgin Mary and the Passion of Christ.

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    Irene Rolo House

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    Located on the part-pedestrianised Rua da Liberdade, south of the Republic Square, this building was built in the first half of the 16th century. So named in honour of the illustrious benefactor of Tavira (1892 - 1984), the building maintains its original architectural features such as the Manueline entrance door on the ground floor and the third floor window which announce the first signs of the Renaissance in Tavira.

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    Church of Nossa Senhora das Ondas

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    Located near the Riverside Market, the Church of Our Lady of the Waves, or the Seafarers, also called the Church of San Pedro Gonçalves Telmo, dates back to the reign of King Manuel I of Portugal (late 15th, early 16th century) and was probably built by local fisherman and sailors. It suffered damage following the earthquake in 1755 and features an image of St. Pedro Gonçalves Telmo, patron of men of the sea, in its chancel.

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    Bandstand Garden

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    This stretch of riverfront along the Gilao River is a great place to sit at one of the cafes and enjoy the very picturesque setting. The gardens near the old bridge offer a pleasant shady place to sit and, more often than not, somewhere for the older men to sit and chat and while away the day with a game or two of dominoes!

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    Riverside Market

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    This attractive market is, (as its name suggests), located beside the river but is no longer an active market as it was re-vamped a few years ago and now is home to several shops, cafes and restaurants around the edge with the central space available for exhibitions and special events. It dates from the end of the 19th century when the market was moved here from Republic Square in 1887.

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    Atalaia Barracks

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    Located in the southern part of town, these barracks were built in 1795 by the Governor General of the Algarve, the Earl of Vale dos Reis, Nuno José Fulgencio Mendoza Moura Barreto. Infantry regiment No.14 (RI14) was based here until about 1837 before returning in 1915. It saw action during the First World War against France. It's still an active barracks today.

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    Church of Ordem Terceira de Sao Francisco

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    Also known as the Convent of San Francisco, its origin dates back to the year 1272. Its foundation is attributed to the Knights Templar and was later given to the Franciscan Order by King Dinis in 1312. With the suppression of religious order in 1834, the monastery was partially sold by public auction and occupied by brotherhoods and fraternities of which the third order of St Francis was the most relevant. The building was a victim of two earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 plus a partial collapse in 1843 and a fire in 1881.

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    Church of Sao Jose do Hospital

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    The Hospital of the Holy Spirit and its church date back to the 15th century. However, due to the earthquake of 1755, both had to be rebuilt and the church was ready in 1768 as described by an inscription on its facade. The building features a single nave of octagonal design with unequal sides and a chancel. The main altar features an interesting painting called "Trompe L'Oeil" by Joaquim Rasquinho in 1805.

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    Convent of Nossa Senhora da Graca

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 11, 2010

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    Located close to the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo, the Convent of Our Lady of Grace had its construction began around 1542 by the will of the friars of the Order of Augustin, headed by the Fray Pedro de Vila Viçosa, in the first phase, and Friar John S. José numa 2nd phase around 1568. Under the guidance of Brother John S. José, the convent became the main centre of culture and education in Tavira. Because of its growing importance, the Bishop of Silves, Jerónimo Osório, decided to install a convent here in 1575, plus a School of Moral Theology, Canon Law and the Sacraments, for the instruction of the clergy and people. Later, during Liberalism, this convent was transferred to the Department of the Army, which installed the Raiders Battalion No.5 in 1837. In 2006, after restoration work and conversion, it was turned into a hotel.

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