CHURCHES OF PORTO
One of the main reasons for me visiting Porto was their beautiful churches, especially those with facades of blue tiles.
We couldn’t go inside all of them so photographed the exterior only. Below are some of the churches we visited during our 4 day stay and a couple of others from our previous visit.
I have given a brief description of each church However, further historical information can be researched on the internet if desired.
This 800 year old church is one the most beautiful buildings in Porto. Located high on the hill in the heart of the old town, one can enjoy great views of the city. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. It took over 100 years to build with many additions and renovations since.
The church itself was closed for renovation when I visited but seeing the remainder of the complex left me in awe. The cloisters, the museum with amazing artefacts (love those beautiful church idols) and of course the azulejo art (blue and white tiles) was stunning. There is a mural up on the roof that is over 5 metres wide. Definitely worth a visit while in Porto.
CARMO CARMELITES CHURCHES
These two churches are side and side and one could almost imagine that they are just one church. In fact there is a small building between the two. The facade is best viewed from across the street whilst the side of the the Carmo Church which is entirely covered in blue and white tiles seems to dominate the scene. The Carmelites Church on the left was built in the first half of the 17th Century with the Carmo Church on the right built in the late 18th Century.
Take lots of photos and get up close to the intricate details of the tiles. It can be extremely busy with tourists so try visiting early morning or late afternoon. Do not miss this one!
This tower cannot be missed as it stands 75 metres tall and is considered one of Porto’s main icons. The baroque style tower was built in the mid 1700’s. By climbing the 240 steps, one can get some great views of Porto and beyond. I didn’t climb the tower but did go into the church for a quick look around. Its ornate altar, ceilings and choir seats were definitely worth seeing. Loved the steps at the front too.
Another baroque church built in 1739 stands alone with plenty of viewpoints for great photos. The 11,000 tiles covering the exterior of the church were only put there in 1932.
There’s lots to photograph here. The simple stained glass windows, all those steps leading up to the beautiful front door and the side gates had me clicking away. I had visited this church on both visits to Porto and both times, the church was closed. However I was very happy with what I saw.
CAPELA DAS ALMAS
We came across this magnificent church in Rua da Santa Catarina. The entire church is literally covered in blue and white tiles. Two elements prevented great photos – firstly it was hemmed in amongst a lot of other buildings making it difficult to stand back far enough for a full photo, and secondly the shadows were very harsh. However this did not stop me taking some photos.
With so many of these churches to see, one can often forget the names of each. I like that this one and some others have a marker outside with the church’s name and a little of its history. Take a photo of this for your future reference.
IGREJA DE SAO FRANCISCO
This church which was completed in the early 1400’s. It is a fine example of Gothic architecture in Porto. It has gothic arches and a rose window as well as a granite staircase leading up to the main door. As mentioned a previous post, we did not go inside due to no photography.
Other churches we saw in passing or photographed from a distance. These were all mostly for their tiled facades. Some of these were Congregados and St Nicolau. There were also many others that we may have missed, so if you are keen on seeing them all, do lots of homework and perhaps put them onto a walking map.
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