"Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos" Over 5000 skulls from various churches and cities line the walls of this Portuguese chapel. The Franciscans during construction by the sixteenth century wanted the place to "sirva de cosolaçao nóticia à curiosidade doutros". Curious tourist or need a place to meditate? Upon entering the chapel we see our future, immortal phrase depicted in the entrance and it's something that gets into your head. "Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos"
In the courtyard of the castle stands the chapel in honor of Queen Isabel of Portugal, granddaughter of James I the Conqueror, who married the King of Portugal, Dinis. She was a very charitable person, this being a virtue she did not share with her husband. According to legend, one day the queen had bread hidden in the folds of her skirt, to give to the poor, and in front of her husband's eyes, the bread was converted to roses so that he wouldn't take it away. She died in 1336 and was canonized in 1625. Inside the chapel, with a single nave, the tile panels of the eighteenth century are highlighted, about the life of Queen Elizabeth.
During our road trip through Mértola and Alentejo, we visited the Church of the Ascension, located next to the castle, whose structure is part of the ancient Islamic mosque and which was rebuilt in the twelfth century in the same place, after the conquest of the city by Sancho II of Portugal in 1238. The geostrategic position of the town of Mértola near the river Guadiana, explains the mix of defensive structures, both civil and religious that are apparent in the city. From the outside, its white walls, conical pinnacles, buttresses and battlements, which give the building a unique and robust feeling, all call the attention of the visitor. These aspects blend local art and Islamic art. The interior consists of five ships that make up a floor in the shape of a 'T' and thus resembles other mosques such as Madinat al-Zahra and Tinmal (Morocco). The ships are separated by stone columns supporting shafts and plain-pointed arches which in turn support a dome that covers the ships. The interior layout, which is composed of vaults, arches and columns, is the result of the sixteenth century Christian changes, in Gothic and Portuguese Renaissance styles.
The Augustinian church is just on the other side of the Royal Palace, separated only by the palace square. The Augustinian monastery, constructed around the year 1270, and gained prominence in the year 1677, when it became the royal tomb of the Dukes of Bragança. The temple is octagonal baroque style with pink marble facade, and 2 towers, and it is inside the chapel of St. Nicolau Tolentino, for his altarpiece and tiles and the altar altarpiece.
The national shrine of the Patron Saint of Portugal is located within the medieval walls of the town castle, above the old Gothic chapel of Our Lady of the Castle. On March 25, 1646, Our Lady of the Conception was proclaimed patroness of Portugal. Since 1820 the Portuguese queens costumes have been used to dress the image of the patron.
The temple is divided into three naves and seven chapels: Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Trinity Chapel, Chapel of St. Joseph, which highlights the altarpiece gilded in gold, the Chapel of the Holy Name of Jesus, Shrine of Our Lady of Carmen, Chapel of Peter and the chapel, with an altarpiece that has been gilded in eighteenth century gold and a niche with the image of the Patron Saint of Portugal.
We were fortunate enough to visit the shrine of the bridge of December, which coincided with the feast of the patron. For this reason there was a strong media presence there to transmit the celebration. It was all perfectly lit and we were able to enjoy all of the treasures of this sanctuary.
In the heart of the square of the Fighters of the Second World War, stands the church of San Francisco, the first thing that calls attention is its facade in rococo style, as though the church was constructed in the 13th century, and went through a total renovation in the 18th century. Inside one can see 3 ships in late Romanesque style, there are the coats of arms of King Afonso III and his wife Beatrice, and the Chapel of the Third and D. Hood Fradique of Portugal, in Renaissance style.
The construction of this complex, inspired by the Italian Baroque style, started in the year 1697 and before all was a palace, occupied by Constantino de Bragança, Viceroy of India, until in the year 1698 when he was consecrated by the Bishop of Evora, the convent of the congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. The exterior is known for its pink marble facade, which was not finished until the year 1961, inside one can visit the set of tiles dedicated to the life and miracles of St. Philip Neri. It now has: The town hall, library, tourist information office and a museum of Sacred Art. Hours: Monday to Friday 9h/17h30
Igreja de Sao Joao Evangelista belonged to the Convent dos Loios, now converted into a hostel. The church has a Manueline style, which emphasizes a portico on the gothic facade and the coat of arms of the Melo family. Inside it's worth visiting the sacristy with a seventeenth century fresco and beautiful tiles depicting the life of St. Lawrence Justinian.
Grace Church is at rúa de la Misericordia and is noted for its Renaissance façade (considered the first of its kind in the Alentejo) in which some Atlanteans, known popularly as Meninos, holding the world.
The Igreja de Sao Francisco is a Manueline Gothic temple from the late sixteenth century. The facade features the emblem of King John, a pelican and the emblem of King Manuel, the armillary sphere is also found. Inside there's a single nave and pointed arch, the highlights are the two tribunes of the chapel, one Baroque and one renaissance, like in the chapel of the third order, the magnificent tiles illustrate the life of San Francisco. Hours: 9:00-12:30 and 14:30-17:30. Free admission.
San Antao Church is in the center of Évora, in Giraldo Square, and is built on an old Templar church. The facade has two bell towers. Inside there are 3 naves with side chapels, in the main chapel the highlight is the Baroque altarpiece and the front of the altar, the only remnant of the original chapel.
This is one of the most important churches in the area, constructed in 1517, on the site of an old gothic church. The site has been modified several times over the years, most notably in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Statues, marble structures, and golden details were added. It was the headquarters of the diocese for a time, and came to be known as the Cathedral of Elvas. Although the diocese hasn't existed for over a century, it is still known by this name.
At the foot of the castle, and facing a lovely garden, is one of the most important buildings of the walled town of Marvao. White, as the rest of the town, it houses the tourist information office and the Municipal Museum.
The Santa María of la Devesa Church can be found right in the center of Castelo de Vide, in the Plaza de Pedro V. The church's construction began in 1789. On the outside, its two towers and the façade in Baroque style.