Located in downtown Porto, the Carmo and Carmelitas churches look like the biggest church in the city. In fact, they are two churches separated by one of the world’s narrowest houses. This house was built to make all contact between the nuns and the monks impossible. If you look closely, you’ll find Carmo Church (on the right) and Carmelitas Church (on the left).
Carmelitas Church was part of a convent in the 17h century. The building has a classical façade with a single a bell tower and a rich gilded interior. The church was used as barracks during the French Invasion of Porto (1808-1814).
Carmo Church was built in the 18th century and is an amazing example of the baroque architecture. Outside, you will find a magnificent panel of blue and white tiles, representing the Brown Scapular imposition on Mount Carmel. The panel is rich in details, perspective and color and was designed by Silvestro Silvestri.
On the Carmelitas’ church interior you’ll find a rich baroque and rococo style with gilded woodcarvings on the main altar and the lateral chapels. You’ll find the same details of gilded woodcarving on Carmo church. On the left to Carmelitas church, are now the heaquarters of GNR (Portuguese National Guard). The building is the former Carmelite convent.
The churches are located close to other landmarks such as Clérigos Tower, Cordoaria Gardens and Lello Bookshop. If you’re around and you feel like having a cup of coffee there are plenty of places to choose from: Café Piolho, Café Progresso and Luso Caffé. You’ll also be in walking distance from the Arts District.
Both curches are open monday to friday from 7:15am to 7pm; saturdays, sundays and holidays from 9am to 6:45pm.