Lisbon Carmo Church

Lisbon Carmo Church
Lisbon Carmo Church

On other occasions we have already spoken here of old medieval temples that have survived to this day in the form of fantastic ruins, and with uses completely different from those originally conceived. Good examples are Rievaulx Abbey in British lands. And even the old Cathedral of Lleida in Spain.


Carmo Church

Well, today we want to talk to you about the Iglesia del Carmo or Nuestra Señora del Carmen which is located in the historic center of Lisboa. Nowadays it no longer fulfills any religious function, it has already been transformed into an interesting archeology museum. Although the most attractive thing about this church from the Middle Ages is that its dilapidated appearance today allows us to discover many of the constructive peculiarities that are at the base of Gothic architecture, all It was based on the use of pointed arches that allowed great heights to be achieved without the need to build strong walls to support the building. In other words, in Carmo we have before our eyes the studied structure of Gothic art based on pillars, columns, arches and buttresses.

This church is known to have been founded in the 14th century. Specifically in the year 1389 by Don Nuno Alvares Pereira. And it was one of the most important temples in the city, but like a large number of buildings in the Portuguese capital, it remained in a state ofdestruction after the devastating earthquake that hit Lisbon in 1755 and whose effects were felt for many kilometers around.

The fact is that the Carmo was practically in ruins. But such was the affection towards this temple, that already in the year following the earthquake its reconstruction was undertaken following the own designs of the neogothic style experimental. But the state in which the building had been left was very bad, and for this reason the work progressed very slowly. And that slowness also helps us to reflect on the value of the works of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, since in 1834 with more modern means of work, the building had only been able to be consolidated and it had an appearance very similar to what we see today. in day. In fact, in that year the reconstruction was definitively abandoned for economic reasons.

For this reason, today the temple is seen without a roof in its three naves and with unfinished chapels. Although it is true that both the apse and the south and west portals have a more finished appearance. Although it is undeniable that the aesthetic charm of the monument lies in the contemplation of the roofless church, exposing its skeleton of arches and pillars.

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