Romantic Gothic ruins
The ruins of this Gothic church are evocative reminders of the devastation left by the 1755 earthquake. At the time of the earthquake it was the largest church in Lisbon, but today the roofless nave open to the sky is all that remains of the arches and rubble that caved in on the congregation as they were attending mass.
In what used to be the main altar is now a small archaeological museum with an eclectic collection of tombs (the largest one is of King Ferdinand I), statuary, ceramics, and mosaics. Among the more ancient finds is a remnant from a Visigothic pillar and a Roman tomb carved with reliefs depicting the Muses. Other noteworthy pieces include shrunken heads, South American mummies, a jasper sculpture of the Virgin Mary, ancient tombstones, Visigothic artifacts, and coins dating back to the thirteenth century.
At the entrance of the museum is a stone engraved with Gothic lettering, informing visitors that Pope Clement VII granted 40 days of indulgence to “any faithful Christian” who visits this church.
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