Tavira Churches

Tavira has over 30 churches and chapels. Although many were affected by the 1755 earthquake, they were painstakingly re-built and now provide an amazing feature of this beautiful historical city in the Algarve


1. Church of Misericórdia - Igreja da Misericórdia
Location: Travessa da Fonte, Rua da Galeria,Tavira - Monument of Public Interest

Igreja da Misericórdia Tavira

The church built between 1541 and 1551 is considered to be the the most beautiful Renaissance monument in the Algarve. Built by master mason André Pilarte, then resident in Tavira, who worked on the construction of the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon. In the centre of it´s portal, the sculpture of Nossa Senhora da  Misericórdia stands out, protected by the royal coats of arms and the coat of arms of the city. She is flanked by two angels holding back curtains and by two high reliefs depicting St. Peter and St. Paul.


2. Church of Santa Maria do Castelo - Igreja matriz de Santa Maria do Castelo
 Location: Largo Dr. Jorge Correia, Tavira - National Monument

Thought to have been built on the old mosque between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, after the re- conquest of Tavira by the Order of Santiago Tavira (1242). The church exhibits examples of many architectural styles from the Gothic through to Manueline, Baroque and Neoclassical. From the Gothic period it maintains the principle façade, the side chapels, a window and corbelling.

On the wall of the chancel a stone tomb of the seven riders martyred during the capture of the village evokes the memory alluding to the beginnings of this church.The inside contains five interesting retables: in the chapel of Senhor dos Passos the retable is from the Manueline period, with it´s 17th century decorative tiles; in Saint Bartholomew´s chapel there is an interesting example of the Rococo period;and the retable of the chapel of the Sanissimo, dates from the 19th century. There is also the famous Almas retable where the sinful souls of two parishioners can be found.The damage caused by the earthquake of 1755 led the energetic and enterprising Bishop Francisco Gomes of Avelar. to promote the rebuilding of the temple and he engaged the Italian architect Francisco Xavier Fabri for this purpose. It is Fabri whi is responsible for what is thought to be the the best example of neo-paladin style in the Algarve.


3. Church of Santiago - Igreja matriz de Santiago
Location: Rua D. Paio Peres Correia, Tavira

The church dates to the second half of the thirteenth century, there already in 1270, the year that King Afonso III donates the patronage of this church to the Bishop of Silves.It is the mother parish of Santiago and it is thought to have been constructed on the site an old mosque from the time of the Muslim occupation of Tavira. The main facade features an eighteenth century locket that exalts the figure of St. James,who popular tradition interprets as representing Dom Paio Peres Correia, the knight who conquered Tavira from the Moors.Despite it´s architectural simplicity, there is a valuable collection of 15th to 18th century Portuguese paintings housed within. The temple was badly damaged by the 1755 earthquake, and its reconstruction took several years due to lack of resources of the parish.


4. Convento de Nossa Senhora da Graça (em vias de classificação)
Location: Largo Dr. Jorge Correia, Tavira

Convento de Nossa Senhora da Graça (em vias de classificação) Tavira

The Convento de Nossa Senhora da Graça  is one of the most important buildings of the historic centre of the city, ue to its strategic position of the surrounding area. It is thought to have been constructed from 1569 after the expulsion of the Jews from this area. The façarde of the church is in Chão style while the front of the convent is Baroque. Following occupation by the Ministry of Defence from 1839, the building has now been converted into a beautiful Pousada hotel and retains much of its original characteristics.


5.Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Consolacão -  Capela de Nossa Senhora da Consolação (em vias de classificação)
Location: Rua da Liberdade, Tavira Opposite thePost Office

Its origin dates back to 1648 when the Fraternity of Nossa Senhora da Consolação dos Presos was founded. In front of it where the current Post Office is located used to be the old prison. It was here that the prisoners used to spend their last days. In 1918 the Sacristy, the home of the Hermit and one of the stations of the cross were destroyed. The facade denotes great sobriety. It features a straight lintel portal flanked by two wickets. The interior of the chapel also denotes great simplicity. It consists of one body with small wooden roof. The chapel incorporates,an interesting decorative set, comprising   17th century footing of carpet tiles, a 18th century screen with the Cross of Christ,  and a 17th century  altarpiece. The chapel retains its religious function and integrates the significant number of hermitages founded the town of Tavira.


6. Church of São José do Hospital - Igreja de São José  (ou do Hospital do Espírito Santo )
Location: Praça Zacarias Guerreiro, Tavira

Igreja de São José  (ou do Hospital do Espírito Santo ) Tavira

This church has its origins in the fifteenth century and   was erected on land donated by Dom Afonso V to the Espirito Santo Hospital for the purpose of receiving patients from overseas provinces. In 1721, the image of São José is said to have perspired beads of blood three times , thus leading to the name change of the hospital. The church was badly damaged by the 1755 earthquake with only the late medieval chapel surviving. The church was re-built over the chapel and designed by master mason Diogo Tavares of Faro. It was completed in 1768.


7. Church of São Francisco - Igreja do antigo convento de São Francisco
Location: Praça Zacarias Guerreiro, Tavira

Igreja do antigo convento de São Francisco

Situated near the medieval walls. The church, was one of the most prominent buildings of the medieval Algarve. The convent founded by the Franciscans between 1250 and 1330 was plagued by various disasters, earthquakes (1722 and 1755), a collapse (1840) and a dreadful fire (1881).The only thing that remained unscathed was the sacristy with a 14th century tombstone and the sanctuary with 12 near life images . Presently, the church has a large chancel with a vaulted ceiling where various works of art are displayed


8. Church of Santo António - Igreja do antigo convento de Santo António dos Capuchos
Location: Rua de Santo António, Tavira

Convent initiated in 1612 by the friars of the Order of Saint Anthony Capuchin site of an ancient and vanished shrine of Our Lady of Hope. It was taken over by the order of São Francisco in 1856.It has a cloister abd a single-nave church with carved wood retables, religious paintings and images of the 17th and 19th  centuries. Of particular interest are three groups of 18th century nearly life size  clay structures which is thought to have been carried out by the Barrista nuns of the neighbouring Cistercian convent. The convent has now been converted into a Turismo de Habitação.


9. Chapel of São Sebastião - Ermida de São Sebastião
Location: Rua da Comunidade Lusíada - Monumento de Interesse Municipal

Of medieval origin, the exact date of construction remains unknown. The chapel  was rebuilt in 1745 under the direction of master Diogo Tavares de Ataide, and Jacinto Aleixo Manuel Pacheco. The architecture of this Baroque building is of note due to the cubic form of the main alter where one can also see ten small panels depicting the life of the patron saint (against plagues and contagious illnesses) painted in 1759 by the master Diogo Mangina.


10. Antigo convento de Nossa Senhora da Piedade (ou das Bernardas)
Location: Rua Arquiteto Eduardo Souto Moura, Tavira

Once extinct in 1862, the convent of Our Lady of Mercy was sold at auction and converted into flour milling, starting then a process of gradual distortion of the building. The building has recently been adapted into apartments but has retained much of it´s old characteristics.


11. Chapel of São Pedro Gonçalves Telmo (Ou Das Ondas) - Igreja de São Pedro Gonçalves Telmo (ou de Nossa Senhora das Ondas)
Location: Rua D. Marcelino Franco, Tavira-  Opposite the Cinema

This chapel was constructed in the early 16th century being commissioned by The Corporação do Corpo Santo, commonly known as the Mariner and Fishermen´s Association. Its  reconstruction following the 1755 earthquake was supervised by the master mason Diogo Tavares. In 1765, the painting of the wooden ceiling in the main chapel and the nave, produced one of the best examples of Rococo style in the Algarve. Presently undergoing renovation works hence no photograph - Dec 2012.


12. Capela de Nossa Senhora da Piedade
Location: Rua Gonçalo Velho, Tavira

Erected in 1758 next to the Fonte da Praça, where the castle wall was. It belonged to the confraternity of our Nossa Senhora da Piedade, now defunct. The portal was inspired by the model of some porticos of the convento da Graça, being decorated by a burning heart pierced by a dagger.


13. Ermida de São Roque
Location: Largo do Cano, Tavira Near Bombeiros

It belonged to the confraternity of São Roque being originally a  late-Gothic temple with, Renaissance, Mudejar and Manueline motifs. The rebuilding in the mid-18th century is attributed to the architect Diogo Tavares and Ataíde,  introducing more Baroque forms.


14. Chapel of Santa Ana - Ermida de Santa Ana
Location: Largo de Santa Ana, Tavira - Monumento de Interesse Municipal

This chapel dates back to the Middle Ages, one of  the oldest churches of Tavira. It was transformed in the 18th century into the chapel of the Governor and Captain of the Algarve when he moved from Lagos to Tavira after the earthquake. In 1936, the chapel was acquired by the Municipality of Tavira. Inside you can see three altars: the chancel, made in gilt, national style, with integrated wooden images , and the two sides.The temple was restored and musealized in 2006, integrating the system polinucleado Municipal Museum of Tavira.


15. Church of São Paulo - Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda (ou de São Paulo)
Location: Praça Dr. António Padinha, Tavira

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda (ou de São Paulo)

Former convent church of the Friar Hermits of St. Paul, built from 1606.It´s architecture and interior are a museum of sacred art, with images from the 16th,17th, and 18th centuries , gathered from former temples and convents. Also noteworthy is the altarpiece of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, produced in 1730 by Gaspar Martins carver.


16. Ermida de São Brás
Location: Largo de São Brás, Tavira

 Ermida de São Brás,Tavira

Next to the Igreja do Carmo. is a small hermitage from the MIddle Ages which belonged to the Fraternity of  São Brás for several centuries. It is a simple church with one nave and main alter. Inside the temple, you can admire two images in wood, one of Our Lady and the other patron.


17. Church of Carmo - Igreja da Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Carmo
 Location: Largo do Carmo, Tavira - Monument of Public Interest

The prosperity of the Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel de Tavira, founded in the early eighteenth century, resulted in the construction of a solemn church to promote Carmelite ideal of attaining Christian perfection, fostering the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, with special devotion and prayer to the Virgin of Carmen.Started in 1747, the church is one of the most sumptuous of Algarve and took 43 years to complete. Built in the form of a Latin cross, the inside walls are decorated with late Baroque gilded wood carving , famous paintings by Rasquinho, an ornate high backed 18th century choir and an organ restored by organ maker António Simões.
The retable of the main alter were created in 1780 by Italian scultor Patricio Malatesta and the ceilings of this chapel were painted by Ferreira da Rocha in the Rococo period and are superb.
The church is renowned for it´s exceptional acoustics and is often the venue of classical concerts held here throughout the year.


18. Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Livramento - Ermida de São Lázaro (ou de Nossa Senhora do Livramento)
Location: Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis, Tavira

Ermida de São Lázaro (ou de Nossa Senhora do Livramento), Tavira

This chapel is of  medieval origin (XV century) and is thought to have been constructed on the site of a  former leper hospital situated on the outskirts of the village. The reconstruction took place in 1698, during which time the temple was mainly frequented by fishermen and sailors devotees of Nossa Senhora do Livramento. The temple consists of a single nave and chancel, being flanked by the hermit's house. The main façade dates back to the early eighteenth century, being remodeled in the next century.  The interior of the temple has three 18th century altars.


19. Chapel of Calvário - Ermida de Nossa Senhora das Angústias (ou do Senhor do Calvário)
Location: Sítio de São Pedro, Tavira Near the cemetary - Monumento de Interesse Municipal

This hermitage dates back the first half of the seventeenth century and was much venerated at this time as it was here that the procession of Senhor dos Passos ended. On this day , a large religious festival took place attracting pilgrims from all over the Algarve as well  as from Andalucia. The facade was rebuilt in the late 18th early 19th century, acquiring its current aspect. Inside there are retables carved from wood and religious imagery from the 17th to the 19th century.Of special note is the Mount Calvary wall painting and the stone images of the Crucifixion,Nossa Senhora das Augústias and Saint John the Evangelist.


20. Ermida de São Pedro
Location: Sítio de São Pedro, Tavira Near Aldi

Ermida de São Pedro, Tavira

Dating back to the first half of the 17th century. It was a place of pilgrimage for the residents, especially on St. Peter's day (June 29). The building denotes a great sobriety, composing the interior of nave and chancel of small dimensions. The portal was replaced in the 19th century, features an insignia alluding to St. Peter.


21. Church of Luz de Tavira - Igreja matriz de Nossa Senhora da Luz
Location: Largo da Igreja, Luz de Tavira

Igreja matriz de Nossa Senhora da Luz

This is one of the few churches in the Algarve that survived the 1755 earthquake. It still maintains part of the original structure built in the 16th century. The façade and retable are in the Mannerist style. The baptismal font and side portal are in a ornamented Manueline style.On the walls, four stone rosettes symbolise the heavenly bodies-the sun, moon and stars.


22. Church of Conceição - Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição
Location: Rua Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Conceição de Tavira

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Tavira

The building works of this church were started in early 16th Century, after the Crown recognized the administrative division of Conceição de Tavira. It was originally connected with the Order of Santiago Knights, but it was the local people who paid for its construction. In the 18th Century there were some further renovation works.


23. Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo - Igreja Matriz de Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo
Location: Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo, Tavira

It lies in the center of the village and dates back to the first half of the sixteenth century, following the lifting of the siege Fonte do Bispo the parish seat. The building consists of three naves, Artesian has a dome on the chancel, and a side door in Manueline style. Inside, there are several images representing the Last Judgment, the adoration of the shepherds, and Our Lady of Sorrows.


24. Church of  Santo Estêvão -  Igreja matriz de Santo Estêvão
Location: Rua da Igreja, Santo Estêvão, Tavira

Igreja matriz de Santo Estêvão, Tavira

The church in the centre of the village.The date of its construction is uncertain, but it was originally the site of a  medieval chapel. In the eighteenth century, about 1707, it was re-built by  António Pereira da Silva. In the nineteenth century, the main facade was remodeled and  the main portal dates from 1903. Inside, the church there is  a single nave with four side chapels and a chancel with the vestry at the Epistle side. The main altarpiece was designed by the Italian architect Francisco Xavier Fabri.


25. Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Saúde

Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Saúde - North of Tavira Algarve Portugal.The origens of this church date back to the 15th Century where Paulist Monks settled in 1448 and stayed until 1606. The church was reconstructed after the earthquake in 1755 and additional reconstruction took place in 1881

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