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Igreja do Carmo

The final traces of the medieval Carmo Convent, which was almost entirely destroyed after the 1755 earthquake.

TravelCurious Tip

If you are planning on taking the Santa Justa Lift down to Baixa afterwards then be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds

The Igreja do Carmo was first built in the 14th century by the Portuguese knight Nuno Álvares Pereira, who won favour with King John I after he lead a decisive victory against the Castillian army in the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. This helped win Portugal’s independence from Spain, and also earned Pereira the money to finance his pet project.


A Sober Style

The church was originally built in a simple yet striking Gothic style typical of the mendicant religious orders. Massive vaulted ceilings and arched windows lent to the imposing grandeur of the building, but it was relatively light on intricate stonework compared to, for example, the ornate Manueline tradition found elsewhere in Lisbon.


The Last Trace

On 1st November 1755, when the great earthquake struck, the church was full of worshippers celebrating the feast day of All Saints. The roof collapsed, crushing hundreds beneath it, but the skeleton of the church remained, surviving the subsequent ravages of tsunamis and fires. Today the gothic ruins are one of the last remaining traces of that disaster still visible in the city.


Church Garrison

It was never fully repaired after the earthquake and instead saw use as police and military garrison before the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists converted the ruins into a museum in the 19th century. However, even as recently as the 1970s the church was where the Carnation Revolution came to a head. It was where Marcelo Caetano, the regime’s final president, and some loyal forces were encircled by military rebels. They eventually surrendered, thus ushering in the time of democratic President António de Spínola and the government of modern Portugal.


A New Purpose

Nowadays, the the archaeological museum holds exhibitions showing varius aspects of Portuguese history, including pre-Colombian mummies, ceramic tiles and the tombs of Ferdinand I and Maria Ana de Austria. It’s a fascinating collection in a completely unique setting.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Lisbon
Lisbon Old Town
Lisbon's old town rivals the charm and beauty of its European counterparts, with an added pinch of mystery.
Commerce Square
This beautiful seafront square was the location of the Royal Ribeira Palace until the 1755 earthquake; it was remodelled as a centre for customs administration.
Bairro Alto
Wander through the steep and picturesque cobbled streets of bohemian Bairro Alto.
Rossio Square
One of Lisbon's main squares since the Middle Ages, Rossio was destroyed and reconstructed after the great 1755 earthquake.
Baixa Pombalina
A particularly elegant district of Lisbon, the Lower Town was among the world's first earthquake-resistant constructions.
Santa Justa Lift
This urban elevator from 1902 connects the lower street of Baixa with Carmo Square.

Related Tours

The Best of Lisbon Live Virtual Tour
Discover Lisbon's fascinating history on this Live Virtual Tour with a professional tour guide that will explain the city's ancient origins right up to the present day.

ITINERARY

Your virtual tour will start at the top of the Santa Justa elevator where you can enjoy panoramic views from Lisbon’s ornate iron lift.

You will then walk with your guide to Carmo square where you will explore the open-air ruins of Carmo Convent, a reminder of Lisbon’s devastating 1755 earthquake.

The next stop will be Rossio train station in Rossio cobblestone Square where you will also find Santo Domingo's church and the Jewish Memorial to the victims of the Jewish Massacre of 1506 that happened in this square.

Your tour will end at Rua Augusta, the main pedestrian street of the city.

If you’re looking for a quickinformative introduction to Portugal’s multi-cultural capital, then this express tour is the perfect option!


PREPARATION FOR YOUR TOUR

  • This experience will be broadcasted live from the streets, no Powerpoint presentations are involved.
  • The Live Virtual Tour will be on the platform Zoom, and you will receive a link in your email to gain access.
  • The recording of the tour will be available for all participants to keep for the future.
  • It's designed as an entirely private experience for you and your group and each person can be connected from one device.
  • If you want a customised tour, please send us an email to reservations@travelcurious.com
  • Date and Time may be affected by weather conditions to guarantee the best experience.
Discovering Alfama District Live Virtual Tour
Discover Lisbon's fascinating history on this Live Virtual Tour with a professional tour guide that will explain the city's ancient origins right up to the present day.

ITINERARY

Your virtual tour will start at Portas do Sol Viewpoint from where you will continue to explore the Alfama district all the way to the river.

The Alfama district was once a poor area set outside the city walls but it has now become a popular arty district with labyrinthine streets. 

You will virtually wander the steep alleyways where yellow trams wind up to St George’s Castle, past ancient houses, Fado bars and colourful shopfronts. 

The district is home to Sé de Lisboa, the 1147 Romanesque cathedral that has miraculously withstood the city’s many quakes.

If you’re looking for a quickinformative introduction to Portugal’s multi-cultural capital, then this express tour is the perfect option!


PREPARATION FOR YOUR TOUR

  • This experience will be broadcasted live from the streets, no Powerpoint presentations are involved.
  • The Live Virtual Tour will be on the platform Zoom, and you will receive a link in your email to gain access.
  • The recording of the tour will be available for all participants to keep for the future.
  • It's designed as an entirely private experience for you and your group and each person can be connected from one device.
  • If you want a customised tour, please send us an email to reservations@travelcurious.com
  • Date and Time may be affected by weather conditions to guarantee the best experience.
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