Carmo’s convent and church ruins are in Largo do Carmo in Baixa. This church was built in 1423 and at that time it was the biggest church in Lisbon. Today, this gothic church is in ruins due to the great earthquake in 1755.
Even if partially destroyed is still worth a visit as its beauty and mysticism didn’t go away. The outside of the church can be seen in Rossio and you can access the church either by foot, Santa Justa’s lift, subway (Baixa/Chiado) or tram 28
The museum is open from Monday to Saturday (10:00am to 17:00pm)
Prices are 1.50€/2€
As wonderful as the church at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is, it would be a shame not to visit the adjoining cloisters. Here you will see some of the best examples of Manueline architecture in Portugal and certainly the best you will in find in the vicinity of Lisbon. To enter the cloisters, you have to approach the entrance to the right of the west portal of church. The entry fee is 6 Euros. Once you enter you will overpowered by the splendidly carved columns and turrets of the two story cloister. There are also a serious of gargoyles that overlook the cloister.
The cloisters where completed in1544 after the main church of the monastery. Inside the chambers that surround the cloister there are several rooms and chambers that are dedicated to important figures in Portuguese history. They include Luís Vaz de Camões, Fernando Pessoa and Herculano. Be sure to visit all of this because if found that no aspect of the cloisters disappointed.
The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in the Belem neighborhood outside of Lisbon, is probably the most remarkable example of Portugal's famed Manueline architecture monuments. This stupendous monastery was built by Dom Manuel in 1505 in honour of Vasco de Gama who discovered the sea route to India in 1498. De Gama's tomb is housed inside of the monastery.
The first thing you notice when visiting the monastery is the stunning stone carvings that line the Main Portal on the south side of the building. I doubt that there was a better example of Manueline architecture anywhere else in Portugal that match this portal.
The entrance to the church is through the west portal. The church is free to enter and is open Tuesday to Sunday but closed on Monday. Upon entering the church you notices the very thick pillars that reach up to the brilliantly carved ceiling. One is reminded of a forest canopy as you walk underneath. To the right is Vasco de Gama's tomb. As you wander around the church you will notice the excellent carvings on the pillars. It is a shame that the place is so crowded, as you feel that you are being hustled through it. Please be very quiet here as it is a place of worship. The guardians will actually tell you to shush if you make too much noise.
When you leave the church you should turn to the right and visit the cloisters.
Casa dos Bicos is a very peculiar building in the Lisbon city centre. It was built in the XVI century with an inspiration of two palaces in Italy. With the earthquake significant parts of the house collapsed but the façade remains. Today it became the foundation of José Saramago, the Portuguese writer awarded with the Nobel Prize.
Unfortunately, most of the times, this beautiful church is closed. The highlight is the manueline portic, one of the few of this architectural style, dating back to the XVI century and that resisted the 1775 earthquake.
At the westernmost stop of tram 28, a big church from the 18th century, keeps the tomb of queen Maria I. That queen orederd the building of this church to pay a promise made if she had a male son. She did, but the child died before the end of construction with smallpox.
Facing the church there's a pleasant small garden with the same name.
A discreet facade hides one of the best collections of portuguese treasures - the church of S. Roque also called Misericordia.
Just in the centre of town it is a simple building with four different chapels in each side. Each one of them is a masterpiece, but the chapel of S. Joao Batista, made in lapis-lazuli is astonishing. Simply... don't miss it.
Several million people pass, each year, by this church, in the heart of Lisbon. Who dares to enter? Less than 1%. Work, for locals, or prevailing highlights to tourists, give no time for that.
But, having time, why not?
Did you know that, damaged by the earthquake of 1755, this church was rebuilt using the remains of the Royal Chapel, also destroyed in the same cataclysm?
Did you know that, in 1954, a fire burned the entire interior that still keep evidences of it?
No need to enter, but, since you are there… having time...
The site of Sé Catedral de Lisboa was once the home of a mosque, but when the city was captured in the 12th century by Christian crusaders, the structure was rebuilt and the Sé then became the first church in Lisbon. Earthquakes has destroyed it several times during the years, and the rebuilding has resulted in a continual change of appearance.
The Sé is huge, but not as beautiful as f.ex. Igreja de São Roque or Mosteriro dos Jerónimos. The sacristy - with religious objects from the 15th and 16th centuries - and the cloister from the 14th century are worth a visit. Remains of the old mosque walls and other old buildings have been found in the cloister garth, and it was quite interesting to follow the excavation work for a short while…
If you want to learn more about Igreja de São Roque (read my other tips) - and Sacred Art in general - you can visit the Museu de São Roque which is connected to the church. Among the exhibits are some 16th century paintings, icons, sculptures, vestments, a huge collection of baroque silver, and much more...
The museum was originally an old church - built between 1389 and 1423 - but it was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1755. The church was never rebuilt, and now stands as a visible symbol of the earthquake – and an archaeological museum.
The ruined nave of Igreja do Carmo with its many tombs and old tombstones is the highlight IMO, but there is also a museum section with statues, sculptures, azulejos (glazed tiles), South American mummies and shrunken heads (no photos in this section!), and more tombs and ancient tombstones... Don’t judge by the outside… behind the rather grey and dull facade lies a very interesting museum!
Lisbon's cathedral, known as the Se, was built on the site of the city mosque in 1147. It has two large belltowers that overshadow the nearby buildings. A third belltower collapsed during the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and was not reconstructed. You can get a good view of the Se by jumping on a tourist tram. The trams pass just outside the entrance of the cathedral.
I didn't go inside the cathedral but I passed it on foot en route to the Castelo de Sao Jorge and took some photos of the exterior.
The cathedral cloister is open Monday to Saturday 9am-7pm and 2pm-5pm on Sundays. There is an admission charge for the cloister and treasury.
The cathedral in Lisbon is a huge gothic cathedral dating back from 1147 when the moors were driven out of Portugal.
It´s located in Alfama and is huge and monumental even if it´s mabye not the prettiest cathedral in the world.
It´s located on one of the main roads up through Alfama and it´s hard to miss if you take a walk by foot through Alfama.
We visited this beautiful building on Christmas day so it was all closed except for the wonderful church. The monastery is dedicated to Saint Jerome who was the patron saint of sailors. It was built in 1502 by King Manuel I to commemorate the voyages of Vasco De Gama -the famous Portuguese explorer. De Gama's tomb is located inside the church as is the tomb of famous Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Mary Major is also located in Alfama. It is the oldest church in Lisbon and dates from 1147. The cathedral was renovated at the beginning of the 20th century after suffering a lot of damage in various earthquakes. It is quiet and peaceful inside.