Clérigos Church

Porto, Portugal

The Clérigos Church ('Church of the Clergymen') is a Baroque church in Porto. Its tall bell tower, the Torre dos Clérigos, can be seen from various points of the city and is one of its most characteristic symbols.

The church was built for the Brotherhood of the Clérigos (Clergy) by Nicolau Nasoni, an Italian architect and painter who left an extense work in the north of Portugal during the 18th century.

Construction of the church began in 1732 and was finished around 1750, while the monumental divided stairway in front of the church was completed in the 1750s. The main façade of the church is heavily decorated with baroque motifs (such as garlands and shells) and an indented broken pediment. This was based on an early 17th-century Roman scheme. The central frieze above the windows present symbols of worship and an incense boat. The lateral façades reveal the almost elliptic floorplan of the church nave.

The Clérigos Church was one of the first baroque churches in Portugal to adopt a typical baroque elliptic floorplan. The altarpiece of the main chapel, made of polychromed marble, was executed by Manuel dos Santos Porto.

The monumental tower of the church, located at the back of the building, was only built between 1754 and 1763. The baroque decoration here also shows influence from the Roman Baroque, while the whole design was inspired by Tuscan campaniles. The tower is 75.6 metres high, dominating the city. There are 240 steps to be climbed to reach the top of its six floors. This great structure has become the symbol of the city.

In Porto, Nicolau Nasoni was also responsible for the construction of the Misericórida Church, the Archbishop's Palace and the lateral loggia of Porto Cathedral. He entered the Clérigos Brotherhood and was buried, at his request, in the crypt of the Clérigos Church, with the exact place remaining unknown.



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Founded: 1732-1750
Category: Religious sites in Portugal


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jane Morris (2 years ago)
Super special church with a tower to climb but don’t miss the spectacle of spiritus laser show early evening. It’s wonderful and shows up the interior in an amazing light and sound that transforms it into something amazing. Not to be missed
LUCILA SAMPAOLI (2 years ago)
This is a beautiful church. There’s a light show happening after 5pm or so, which makes the whole place feel super special. All the details inside are just stunning. Highly recommend visiting
Stephen (2 years ago)
The tower consists of a church and a tower. Tower is easy to climb and the view on top of tower offers a panoramic view of the city. There are 30-minute lighting shows every night starting from 6pm.
Matlab Gurbanli (3 years ago)
The Clérigos Church is a Baroque church in the city of Porto, in Portugal. Its tall bell tower, the Torre dos Clérigos, can be seen from various points of the city and is one of its most characteristic symbols.
Luke Fanning (3 years ago)
The museum is as expected, especially when compared to similar attractions. You first enter and go through the building In a maze form (with directions) lots of information and historical rooms and places. I went for the view at the top.... very good. Well worth it. You will get a few steps in as well ?. Recommended.
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