Church of Santo Antão
At the top of Praça do Giraldo or Praça Maior is the imposing Church of Santo Antão, one of the rare Portuguese salon churches, which reflects the Renaissance taste.
This building from the end of the Renaissance period was built between 1557 and 1563 under the aegis of Cardinal D. Henrique, Archbishop of Évora, in the place where the Chapel of Saint Anthony was erected before. Its construction forced the Roman Arc of Triumph to be demolished. Manuel Pires and Miguel Arruda were in charge of the architectural direction.
Shortly after its construction in 1568, the Church was shaken by a strong earthquake and forced to work to consolidate the pillars and the vaults.
The Church of Saint Antão presents a considerable set of gilded carved altars, highlighting also the rare and unusual marble front of the main altar representing the Apostolate, work of the 14th century, from the old hermitage of Saint Anthony.
In the mor chapel is a beautiful altarpiece of gilt carving in National Style (first phase of the Baroque style in Portugal), from the 17th century. This altarpiece boasts an original gothic front, unique vestige of the ancient templar chapel, and still two tenebrist canvases, of the royal painter Bento Coelho da Silveira: The Last Supper and The Killing of the Innocents.
Highlight goes also to the side chapels that are decorated with paintings and carved altarpieces, of which stand out a Saint Michael and the Souls, of the painter-poet Jerónimo Corte Real, and a Saint Augustine, by the painter Francisco Vieira Lusitano.