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Church do Carmo

Church do Carmo (24)

The church of this convent is the only one in the world that shows its angels to the open sky. This is a result of the terrible 1755 earthquake which cracked open the roof while the devout were celebrating mass below, leaving its lovely gothic arches on open view. This is a unique sight to say the very least.

Located on Chiado hill, looming over the Baixa and Rossio districts, this church belonged to the convent of Carmelite nuns and was founded in 1389 by the commander Nuno Álvares Pereira.

Álvares Pereira was military chief under Dom Joao I and commanded the Portuguese army in the battle of Aljubarrota, the winning of which gained Portugal’s independence from Castile. However, after the death of his wife, Álvares Perreira retired to the same Carmelite convent he had founded and lived there like a monk. 

In its day, the church “do Carmo” was the biggest in Lisbon. However, now it is just a small reminder of what used to be the medieval city.

It is a place that imparts calm and where the only sound to be heard is the running water spilling from the “Chafariz do Carmo”, an 18th century fountain decorated with four beautiful dolphins. 

You will surely enjoy sitting at one of the terraces of the lovely cafes in the square “Praça do Carmo”, if you are lucky you will even hear the music of a saxophone, played by one of the street musicians that populate this area. Come and enjoy this poetic place, full of Lisbon’s special charm.

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