Restelo Caravel Church

Igreja Caravela do ResteloThe Restelo Caravel Church is, since December 2011, a new tourist attraction in the Belém neighbourhood. Designed by the architect Troufa Real to house the St Francis Xavier parish, it is inspired on the life of this missionary in India and Japan and its construction was controversial because its style is too exuberant for the taste of some of the locals. Only the church’s first phase is now complete, because the parish has not yet raised the funds needed to complete it. The church’s nave hosts up to 500 people and is a replica of an Old Portuguese caravel’s (the vessels who took the Portuguese to their maritime expansion) hull. The inside walls are curved with glasses’ shaped windows. Outside, there is a large iron cross tumbled on the ground. Cornucopias representing the waves are bonded to the core of the church.

Igreja-Caravela do Restelo (projeto inicial)The rectory, in bright orange colours, represents Lisbon’s old houses, which St Francis Xavier left behind when he set out to evangelize the Far East. The church’s exterior walls will be painted in white, green and red in an allusion to Portugal and the Indian Union national flags. According to Troufa Real, ​a known member of Freemasonry, there are hidden within the church some symbolic Masonic elements, which was taken as a provocation by some Catholics. The Restelo caravel church construction began in 2009 with an initial project which included a golden caravel and a Moorish-style tower 312 feet (95 meters) high. But the boldness of this project and budgetary constraints have forced it to undergo reviewing. A ferrous material replaced the golden colour and the Arabic tower will not be erected. For the project’s second phase is now planned the construction of a steel structure designed by Carvalho Rodrigues, a college professor known as the father of the first Portuguese satellite, and the new structure will move based on wind and solar energy produced in the tower itself.

Sacramento Church

Igreja do SacramentoThe Church of Sacramento (Igreja do Sacramento) is close to the heart of Chiado, at the sidewalk with its name. The parish of the Blessed Sacrament was founded in 1584 to combat the Protestant heresy which denied the real presence of Christ at the Eucharist. The original church was built between 1671 and 1685, on the ground opposite the Palace of the Conde de Valadares, who offered the land to do it. This palace still exists today in front of the church and houses now the restaurant Sacramento no Chiado. The 1755′s earthquake knocked down the bell tower and the roof of the church and caused a fire that did extensive damage. The reconstruction began in 1772, in a project by architect Francisco de Abreu Remígio. It is a baroque church, Lisbon’s only with a east facade, with a single nave, filled with marbles and eight lateral altars.

Interior da Igreja do SacramentoIn 1798, painter Pedro Alexandrino de Carvalho was commissioned to paint the big screen that covers the throne, the altarpieces of the side altars and the eight screens of the chancel, representing the four evangelists and the four master doctors of the Catholic Church. This painter is also the author of the central medallion of the nave’s roof and of the angels figuring at the set. Note also the six silver lanterns hanging in front of each of the side altars. They weigh a whole 79 pounds (36 kilos). The throne of the church is a magnificent piece in gilt. In the choir is an organ with 1,063 pipes, built in 1817 by António Xavier Machado Cerveira, who was responsible for most of the churches’ organs rebuilt after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

Teto Igreja do SacramentoIn the bell tower, at the rear of the church, were applied one clock and the bells from the Convento da Trindade, purchased at the auction that followed the expulsion of the religious orders from Portugal, in 1834. During the French invasion, in early 1808, the church was looted from all their silver, a total of 260 pounds (118 kilos), including pieces who had survived the 1755 earthquake. After the Chiado’s fire, in 1988, the subsequent reconstruction of the area, the adjoining car park building and the subway’s extending, the church has undergone another restoration, completed in 2010. You can visit the Igreja do Sacramento every day from 12h00 to 17h00, except Mondays (open from 15:00 to 18:00) and Sundays (open from 15:00 to 19:00).


Corpo Santo Church

Located in Largo do Corpo Santo, in the Freguesia de São Paulo, was built in the 18th century. It is located in Cais do Sodré, a privileged area, which has a platform of land and sea transport, which give access to the entire city.

Formerly owned by Irish Dominican Order, was part of the initial set of construction, so church convent and school. The construction of the property broke the will of the friars of the Dominican Province of Ireland, who survived the persecutions of Henry VIII and had requested asylum in the Dominican Province of Portugal. When in 1856 settled a peace between the Catholic Church in Ireland, the brothers sold the monastery and part of the college.

Over the years, members of that has been decreasing and in 1989 moved to St. Pedro do Estoril (Cascais), leaving the church to a Dominican community in Portugal.


As part of the topography of Pombaline, the Church of the Holy Body shows traces of the religious architecture of Pombal. Because it was the work of Irish monks, is unusual compared to other religious buildings in Portugal.

On the facade, you can see the symbol of the Order of Dominicans Irish, particularly in the tympanum of the pediment. The spacecraft is octagonal and the hemispherical dome is topped by a lantern, allowing more light.

Penha de França Curch

Located next to the Junta de Freguesia de Penha de França, one of the seven hills of Lisbon, which is a church ceremony to lay the foundation stone took place on March 25, 1597. A year later performed the first procession, which started from Ermida Nossa Senhora da Vitória and ended at the Church of Penha de França. Today, a procession is held annually in May or June.

Image of Our Lady

This temple still retains one of seven images of Our Lady of the promise born of sailors, who arrived in India with life.

It followed a Mass when he saw the 1755 earthquake, killing over 300 people. The image of Our Lady was saved and maintained in Igreja da Graça to complete the reconstruction. The devotion to Our Lady of Penha de França began in Salamanca, Spain.

Legend of the Lizard

Membership of the Brotherhood of Nossa Senhora da Penha de França, this religious site keeps tiles from the 17th century, has the main chapel and 7 altars.

The interior decoration has a beautiful body in gilt, marble sculptures and a painting on the ceiling, which alludes to the legend the lizard.

Legend has it that a devotee fell asleep on the hill. At that moment, when being attacked by a serpent, behold a lizard came to his aid, through the intercession of Our Lady of Penha de França. In the room of Ex-votos are wood samples of lizard and snake. It is said that they are substitutes for real, who once stayed there embalmed.

Useful information

The Church of Penha de França receives many visitors. Closed on Monday morning and in the remaining days can be visited from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 17:00 pm to 18:00 pm. However, it is advisable to mark the visit by phone 218141349.

Mass every day at 19.00 pm.


Santa Catarina Church

Built 17th century it is a baroque church of religious architecture located in a tourist area. Located on the Calçada do Combro in Bairro Alto – well known for nightlife and the variety of cuisine.

Very near the Ascensor da Bica and in the same street that gives access to the Miradouro do Adamastor, where the view is divine and that every afternoon by hosting huge youth who are there to live through the night.

It is classified as a National Monument and is also known as the Paulist Church, because in the 19th century the parish seat of St. Catherine received the Order of St. Paul the Hermit.

Organ in gilt

Igreja de Santa Catarina - OrgãoThe Church of Santa Catarina has a Latin cross plan, with nave chapels, transept and chancel. It has a monumental facade, 2 bell towers of square section and a large lobby. The porch has three portals, and the left gives access to the old convent entrance.
The gilded stands in interior decoration. Indeed the 18th century organ it is gilded. The main altar has 2 twisted columns, corbels on sustained by angels. Worthy also highlighted the ceiling due to painting.