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Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha

Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha (34)

Near “Comerço” square (“Praça do Comerço”), in rational pompaline style surroundings, stands this ground-breaking, manueline style church. 

Its portico is the only part which was left standing after the 1755 earthquake. The rest of the original 16th century “Nossa Senhora da Misericordia” church was left in ruins.

Because of this, standing before the austere, sober and classic styles of Pombal’s restoration, it is inevitable you will marvel at the filigrees that adorn the portico. Among them you will recognise many elements of the manueline style: armillary spheres, the cross of the order of Christ, natural features like flowers and even caricatures of angles and demons.

Following on, in the tympanum there is an image of the Virgin Mary with her cloak spread out, protecting a series of historic characters. Under her protection are King Manuel I and his sister, Queen Leonor, who founded the original church of the compassionate order. In addition, Pope Leon X, the former bishop of Lisbon, and other religious characters are represented. 

The stuccoed interior of this small church contains a chapel with the statue of ´Our Lady of Restelo` (“Nossa Senhora de Restelo”) which was previously to be found in the Jerónimos monastery in Belém and before which sailors would pray prior to setting out to sea.

Visiting this small temple will take a short time only, but if you stand back from the door and closely observe the sculptures and ornamentation, one of the few examples in Lisbon, together with the ”Jerónimos” Monastery and ”Belém” Tower, of the manueline style will remain imprinted.

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