Tavira Churches

Igreja de São José (ou do Hospital do Espírito Santo )

This church has its origins in the fifteenth century and   was erected on land donated by Dom Afonso V to the Espirito Santo Hospital for the purpose of receiving patients from overseas provinces.
This temple originated in the 15th century and belonged to the former Royal Hospital of the Holy Spirit. It was rebuilt from 1752, simultaneously with the hospital facilities, by deliberation of D. João V and under the responsibility of the Farense master Diogo Tavares de Ataíde. Inside the church presents as particularity its octagonal nave of unequal sides, conferring a certain Baroque dynamism to the elevations of the temple. It is part of a typology, rare in the Algarve, which has as its model, among others, the Lisbon church of Menino Deus (1712). The earthquake of 1755 caused damage to the church and hospital during reconstruction, which dragged on until 1768. From the primitive medieval temple remains a side chapel, which is covered by late-Gothic dome where the weapons of noble families arise. With regard to interior ornamentation, the main altarpiece stands out, one of the few examples of trompe l’oeil painting in the Algarve region. Of the four altarpieces placed on the nave of the church, the two collaterals are from the Rococo period and the rest are neoclassical. In the niches of the latter are two 17th century images of large dimensions, one Our Lady of Carmo and another of Santa Teresa, both originating from the extinct convent of Carmo de Tavira.

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