The royal arms of Portugal adorns the exterior of the church
You’ll want to visit this small church if you enjoyed Igreja dos Loios. Its interior is also lined with tile panels, created by the same master (António de Oliveira Bernardes) in the early 1700s, and is a fine example of Portuguese Baroque.
The golden and beautifully-tiled interior of the church
It dates back to 1554, when it was built in the Mannerist style, but its interior was given a baroque makeover in the early 18th century. That’s when the decorative tiles were added, and the gilded wood carving by master João Correia was created. The tiles represent the seven spiritual works of mercy (instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing the sinners, bearing patiently those who wrong us, forgiving offenses, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead), while the paintings depict the seven corporal works of mercy (feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned or ransoming the captive, and burying the dead). The imposing altarpiece is one of the most magnificent of the baroque period in Portugal, with twisted columns adorned with vines and sculptural elements like cherubs and angels alluding to the heavenly paradise.
The golden altarpiece is a magnificent example of baroque art
The rococo portal was added in 1775, and its royal arms of Portugal is the only adornment on the exterior. A plain façade and a sumptuous interior is typical of Portuguese churches from the 16th to the 18th centuries, as it was meant to symbolize the enrichment of the soul (the interior) and not the body (the exterior).
The tiles and paintings faded and decayed over the last few decades, but were carefully restored over a period of one year in 2018.
Largo da Misericórdia
Admission and Tickets to Igreja da Misericórdia
Admission is free.
Unlike practically all other churches, this one doesn’t open on Sundays. On weekdays it’s open for visits from 8:30am to 1pm and then from 2pm to 5:30pm, while on Saturdays it opens from 9am to 1pm and then from 2pm to 6pm.