With the Easter religious time still in mind, we decided to present to you a small itinerary that will take you to discover the churches and chapels of the beautiful city of Portimão, in the Algarve.
The religious heritage in Portimão, is not vast, but quite interesting and worth a visit.
Starting from Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square, with the city map in your hands, go towards the old bridge, attentive to the architectural details and look for the secular Chapel of St. Joseph. Then, get lost in the streets and alleys towards the Igreja Matriz, the main church of Portimão and end this part of the journey, in the Church of the College of the Jesuits.
From here, you can go to Rua do Comércio to see the latest fashion trends and to the Rua Direita to taste some regional products at Mercearia do Algarve, discover some tasteful typically Portuguese gifts at the Tradição Portuguesa shop, indulge yourself with a regional sweet at Casa da Isabel or a tidbit at Maria do Mar. After this relaxing moments, it is time for a longer walk along the riverside, crossing the interior of the city, to discover the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo.
Chapel of St. Joseph
This centenary chapel, located next to the old bridge of Portimão, was built in the 17th century. For several years, it was a place of worship for St. Joseph, patron of the naval carpenters who worked in the shipyards near to this place. Inside, some baroque traces. The tiled flooring enhances the gold-framed frame with the image of Christ crucified. The exterior is a little run down. It is closed to the public, opening only for Eucharistic celebrations, on Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
Main Church of Portimão
Dated from 15th century, the main church of Portimão is located in the highest part of the city, inside the old walls.
The late-Gothic portal is inspired by the most imposing monument of the time, the Monastery of Batalha and in it are identified fine sculptures of musicians and women in frame. Various styles, such as Baroque, Rococo and Manueline styles, are the fruit of the various phases of reconstruction and artistic enrichment of the temple.
Church of the College of the Jesuits
Located in the Alameda da Praça da República the Church and the Jesuit College was built at the end of the 17th century by order of D. Diogo Gonçalves – whose mausoleum remains in the main chapel – as gratitude for having found in Portimão a good port of refuge, after a strong storm at sea.
Unlike the Jesuit buildings, this building fully assumed the Baroque style. With the earthquake of 1755 the building suffered some damage, highlighting the vaults, which contributed for a refurbishment of the main facade.
The austerity and simplicity of the architecture of the Restoration are present within the Church-Hall.
The Church of the College of the Jesuits was even chosen by the Marquês de Pombal to set up in the region of Portimão a new Algarve Cathedral (Diocese), a project that did not happen in the end.
Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo
This simple chapel, of Arab origin, was christianized and dedicated to Our Lady of Amparo, also known by Our Lady of the Milk, well represented in a screen behind the altar, breastfeeding her baby. Here the pregnant women went to receive their blessing. The chapel was built in the likeness of the ancient Islamic marabouts, having been restored 30 years ago.
On your next visit to the Algarve, come to Portimão, taste some local gastronomy, stroll along Rua das Comércio and Rua Direita, relax in the riverside area and discover the city’s religious heritage. You’ll appreciate it!