Conceição Velha Church
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Conceição Velha Church

The beautiful façade of the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha (Church of our lady of the Conception) dates from before the destructive earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755. It is meticulously carved in the elaborate Manueline style and resembles the portals of the mighty Jerónimos Monastery in Belém. Originally it was a side portal to the Igreja da Misericórdia (Church of Mercy) that was constructed on the same spot in 1496. During its day it was the second-largest church in Lisbon.

ABOUT

Conceição Velha Church - Interior

Conceição Velha Church - Interior

Close to the Praça do Comércio below the Alfama, the Conceição Velha Church is a mix of period styles. A 15th-century Manueline facade sits under a triangular pediment of newer construction. The motifs found on the entrance are of angels, armillary spheres, flowers, and the cross of the Order of Christ. Here too one can find an image of the Virgin of the Misericórdia and figures of nobles and monarchs including D. Manuel I and his sister D. Leonor.

The interior dates from after the 1755 earthquake and opened its doors for its first congregation in 1770. It consists of a single nave with a beautiful stucco ceiling. Compared to the exterior, it feels somewhat bland. The resulting church is about one third the size of the original and lies on a south to north orientation.

Inside is the funeral chapel of the famous 16th-century black aristocrat Simoa Godinha, known colloquially as "Simoa de São Tomé". She has inherited her wealth from her father's sugar plantations in São Tomé. During her lifetime she used her wealth to champion the rights of slaves within the Portuguese empire.

A 16th-century statue of Our Lady of Restelo, before which the explorers Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral prayed on the night before their voyages, was transferred from a demolished church in Belém to stand next to the altar. Between 2013-14 the church underwent a period of restoration with cost over a million Euros.
Weekdays: 10h00 - 20h00, Weekends: 10h00 – 13h00/15h00 – 18h00 | FREE

Getting to the Conceição Velha Church

Terreiro do Paço - Blue LIne
711, 714, 732, 735, 737, 736, 759, 760, 781 & 782
12, 28
Contact Details
108 Rua da Alfandega, 1100-016 Lisbon, Portugal.
38° 42' 31.4" N | 09° 08' 03.1" W | +351 218 870 202
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha - Exterior

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