Duration - 2 hours
Difficulty - Low
Strolling through Chiado is getting to know the cosmopolitan Lisbon. It is recalling theatres and cinemas, poets, intellectuals and artists. It is also a place filled with of convents and churches that mark the History of the city of Lisbon and of Portugal.
The square is dominated by the statue of Luís Vaz de Camões, poet and author of the great epic poem Os Lusíadas. Right in front of it, there is the former Square of the Two Churches, now Chiado Square. Between two churches there was the Gate of Saint Catherine, flanked by two turrets of the Fernandine Wall.
This church is the successor of another one that had been built here in 1518, by the Italian community, dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto. Destroyed by 1755 Earthquake, it was rebuilt with design by José da Costa e Silva. On its façade, notice the image of Our Lady of Loreto and the coat of arms with the pontifical arms under the portal, indicating that this church is dependent on the Apostolic Nunciature. Inside, the paintings in trompe l’oeil and the Italian marbles are worth noting.
Inaugurated in 1708 and destroyed by the 1755 Earthquake, it was rebuilt and was only completed in 1873. On the façade, note the two images from the old Gate of Saint Catherine on the Fernandine Wall and the medallion with the representation of the mystery of the Incarnation. Inside, observe the expression of the paintings of the ceilings.
Bearing the name of a 16th century poet, it is the most cosmopolitan and liveliest square in the city. It was the centre of the social and cultural life in the 19th century: inhabited and frequented by the Lisbon bourgeoisie, it was the first neighbourhood of the city to have gas lighting; here were the best cafés, shops, theatres, cinemas, hotels and clubs in the city, thus being a meeting point for poets, painters and writers.
A Brasileira of Chiado, as this café was also known, is one of the most emblematic shops of Chiado and Lisbon. At one of the tables on the esplanade of A Brasileira, where he often sat, there is the statue of the poet Fernando Pessoa.
The history of the Church of Our Lady of the Martyrs leads us to the early times of the nationality, when King Afonso Henriques, helped by the Crusaders, conquered Lisbon to the Moors in 1147. The English set up their camp in the place where was then built the primitive Church of Saint Mary of the Martyrs, and those who gave their lives for the conquest of Lisbon were buried there. Destroyed by the 1755 Earthquake, it was included in the new urban plan and rebuilt, constituting a model for the Pombaline churches.
The Bertrand bookshop, founded in 1732 by Pedro Faure, later joined by Jean and Pierre Bertrand, is the oldest operating bookshop in the world.
The Theatre of Saint Charles continues to be the only stage in the capital to present opera seasons. Inaugurated in 1793, it replaced the Royal Opera House, which had collapsed and burned completely with the Earthquake in November 1755, seven months after its opening.
Founded in 1911, the museum is installed in the premises of the old Convent of Saint Francis of the City.
It belongs to the Venerable Third Order of Saint Francis of the City, founded in 1615. The primitive hospital, destroyed by the 1755 Earthquake, was rebuilt here, being completed in 1779. Visit the chapel of Our Lady of the Conception, on the second floor.
The National Academy of Fine Arts is installed in buildings of the former Convent of Saint Francis of the City. The scarp of the hill, bathed by the river Tagus, was chosen by the first Franciscans to found their convent in 1217, the fourth in the city. The five Martyrs of Morocco lived there before leaving for North Africa.
The Literary Guild was in the palace at no. 39 since 1875. It was founded in 1846, by royal charter of Queen Maria II, and having the writers Alexandre Herculano and Almeida Garrett among their founding members.
They evoke the old Convent of the Holy Spirit, founded in 1671, in the building of the House of the Holy Spirit of Pedreira, owned by an important brotherhood of merchants from the 13th century. Occupying the space between the current streets of Carmo and Nova do Almada, the convent was very destroyed by the 1755 Earthquake.
The old Church of the Blessed Sacrament, founded in 1667 to be the seat of the parish created in 1584, collapsed with the 1755 Earthquake. In the new urban plan, the new church would be built in the same place, but the door would be facing Garrett Street, ie, South-facing; the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sacrament objected, demanding that the main door of the church kept its former orientation. After you enter, observe in particular the paintings in the ceilings and altars.
Located at the top of the Pedreira hill, the Convent of Our Lady of Carmo was founded in 1389 by Don Nuno Álvares Pereira. Appointed Constable of the Kingdom by King João I in 1385, to his military intelligence is due the victory of the Portuguese troops against those of Castile. A powerful and rich man, he divested himself of all his possessions and entered as Friar Nuno de Santa Maria in the convent he had founded in 1423. At the centre of the square, lies the late Baroque fountain dating from 1769.
(Carmo Convent / Carmo Archaeological Museum)
It is the only Gothic church in the city. The place where Don Nuno Álvares Pereira lived and then was buried has been in ruins since 1 November 1755. The restoration was never completed, which is why the old church offers a unique scenographic effect. Part of the premises are occupied by the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
At no. 25, there is the seat of the Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In the church, completed in 1789, there is a funerary urn with the mortal remains of Saint Nuno de Santa Maria.
Inaugurated in 1867, is was the poshest theatre in Chiado, where the bourgeoisie came to the soirées.
The oldest brewery/restaurant in Portugal has been installed in the site of the former monastery of the Friars Trines since 1836.
The all block was occupied by the Convent of the Holy Trinity, built between 1289 and 1325, with the patronage of Holy Queen Isabel. It was completely destroyed by the 1755 big Earthquake of Lisbon. The Portuguese popular saying "the Carmo and Trinity may fall" sees it origin from the destruction of these two convents.
At the site of the Manueline hermitage built in 1506 in honour os Saint Roch, the priests of the Society of Jesus began the construction of the new church in 1565. The Mannerist façade of the church, with a simple design, hides his wonderful interior. Look at the ceiling that was painted in 1584-1588 by Francisco Venegas. Walk through the chapels built by the various brotherhoods. Enjoy the gilded woodcarvings, the reliquaries, the paintings: it is the Baroque at its best! In the main altar, there is the crypt of Don João de Borja; Tomás de Almeida, the first Patriarch of Lisbon, was buried here. In the sacristy, get to know the life history of Saint Francis Xavier from the paintings by André Reinoso. Its greatest treasure is the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist, commissioned in Rome by King João V. It was assembled and consecrated by the Pope in Rome in 1747, and then brought to Lisbon - the king never saw it, because he dies in the meantime.
Installed since 1902 in the old premises of the Professed House of Saint Roch, it was refurbished in 2005. Here you can admire a rich and varied collection, from the four canvases depicting the life of Saint Roch to the set of objects related to the commission of the chapel of Saint John the Baptist, among others.
The building of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa was once the Niza Palace. Built in the 16th century by the descendants of Vasco da Gama, it was inhabited by Tomás de Almeida, the first Patriarch of Lisbon. The Brotherhood of Mercy, founded by Queen Leonor in 1498, is the oldest social solidarity institution in Portugal: its headquarters moved from the chapel of Terra Solta, in the cloister of the Cathedral, to the old Church of Mercy, in 1534, which was its first own house; after this church was destroyed by the 1755 Earthquake and the Jesuits were expelled in 1759, the headquarters were transferred to the Church and Professed House of Saint Roch in 1768.