Capela das Almas or Capela de Santa Catarina

Capela das Almas

My first post is, very fittingly, also a namesake. The Capela das Almas, which means Souls’ Chapel, can be found in Porto, Portugal’s second city. It is sometimes called Capela de Santa Catarina because it’s on the corner of Rua de Santa Catarina, Porto’s main shopping street. What struck me the most was the stunning decorative Portuguese tiles, azulejos, that cover the outside and lower half of the inside of the church.

Capela das AlmasCapela das almas interior

Although the church’s origins date back to the early 18th century, the tiles were only added in 1929. The hand-painted tiles in various shades of blue add dimension and texture on a white background. Each individual tiles is, in its own right, a work of art. But when you multiply it by 15,947 – the total number of tiles that can be found on the church – the entire church becomes an enormous canvas.


Capela de Santa Catarina pormenor

Azulejo detail inside the church – Pormenor no interior da capela

Whilst the tiles may draw you into the church, once inside, the stained glass windows, giant chandelier, gorgeous paintings and architectural details will make you linger. A Porto must!


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