In Porto, the church of the Venerable Third Order of Nossa Senhora do Carmo was built between 1756 and 1768, right next to the church of the First Order of Descaled Carmelites (oldest, begun in 1383). The construction of the hospital was later, having been completed in 1801. The Third Order of Carmo was born in the hands of lay people with the aim of dedicating itself to social assistance – treating the sick and supporting the most needy.
The Church follows the lines of Figueiredo Seixas, the basic name of northern architecture between Baroque and Neoclassical, with some alterations under the stamp of the Tuscan architect Nicolau Nasoni.
The façade is a beautiful example of full baroque, in the aesthetic line of the counter-reform then in force. The image of Santa Ana (patron of the Church) occupies a prominent place in it, and two niches that flank the entrance door house the images of the prophets Elijah and Elisha.
The lateral façade of the Igreja do Carmo is covered by a magnificent and magnificent panel of tiles, representing scenes alluding to the foundation of the Carmelite Order and Mount Carmel. The composition was designed by Silvestre Silvestri, painted by Carlos Branco and executed in the factories of Senhor do Além and Torrinha, in Vila Nova de Gaia, dating from 1912.
Inside the Igreja do Carmo there is a valuable Baroque and Rococo altarpiece patrimony, in a remarkable state of conservation and integrity . The “retabular heritage, (...) exceptional, was designed by one of the greatest Portuguese master carvers, Francisco Pereira Campanhã, corresponding to a reference work in Rococo aesthetics” – the excellent gilded carving in the side chapels and altar stands out. statuary and various oil paintings. The entire iconographic program is related to the Passion, one of the characteristic themes of the Carmelites.
The images are arranged in a descending path, that is, from the side of the Epistle (right side of the altar): Agony in the Garden, Prison of the Lord, Flagellation, Lord of Cana Verde, Ecce Homo, Lord on the way to Calvary. It concludes with the Crucifixion: the cross on the main altar and the painting of the Resurrection of Christ on the ceiling.
The spectacular scenic impact of the entire set – complemented by the huge tile panel – does not go unnoticed by the thousands of tourists who, incessantly, photographically record this rarity with a great visual impact in the city of Porto.
The Igreja do Carmo together with the Igreja dos Carmelitas were classified on May 3, 2013 as a National Monument (MN).
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