Baroque Porto

Monument Church of S. Francisco
Photo:  Museu da Ordem Terceira da Igreja de S. FranciscoCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

​Baroque is reflected in Porto in innumerable expressive buildings of civil and religious architecture. 

Architects such as António Pereira and Nicolau Nasoni gave the city some of the most representative examples of this style, calling forth a complete transformation of the urban landscape in the seventeen hundreds. Throughout the 17th and 18th century the city resembled a "workshop" of artists and craftsmen, who produced a significant collection of works of high aesthetic value. The virtuosity of Nicolau Nasoni, an Italian artist who studied in Sienna and Rome, is mostly shown in the art he used to work with granite, in buildings such as the Clérigos Church and Tower, the façade of the Misericórdia Church and the Freixo Palace. 

The Cathedral, of Romanesque origin, was one of the first buildings to undergo baroque adaptations, as can be seen in the chancel, crypt, vestry, and cloisters. 

One of the most salient characteristics of the new style is the polychromy and exuberance of forms. The combination of golden revetments with paintings and azulejos (the traditional blue-painted illustrated tiles that are found all over Porto), created an atmosphere of unforgettable beauty. 

The gilt carvings, one of the most vibrant expressions of Porto's baroque, are shown at their best in the retables of the churches of São Francisco and Santa Clara.

  1. Cathedral
  2. Episcopal Palace
  3. Guerra Junqueiro House Museum
  4. Church of Santa Clara
  5. Church of Venerável Irmandade de Nossa Senhora do Terço e Trindade
  6. Church of Santo Ildefonso
  7. Church of Nossa Senhora da Esperança
  8. Church of Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Carmo
  9. Church of Clérigos
  10. Palace of S. João Novo
  11. Private Church of Santa Casa da Misericórdia
  12. Monument Church of S. Francisco
Porto baroque can also be appreciated in other monuments, apart from those described above, such as the beautifully engraved interior of the Igreja de S. João da Foz do Douro, the retable of the Igreja de S. Pedro de Miragaia or even the palatial structures of the Casa de Ramalde or the Quinta da Prelada and Bonjóia, representative sites, the most virtuous example of them all being the Palácio do Freixo. 

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Published 13-10-2014