The São Francisco Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Porto! Its construction began in the 14th century as a part of a Franciscan monastery and its Gothic exterior reflects the mentality of the Franciscan order: modest and relatively simple. By contrast, the interior was influenced by the extreme wealth of the patrons and it’s very rich and opulent!
In 1833 the monastery was destroyed by a fire, started by a shooting between Liberals and Absolutists during the city’s siege. After, the ruins were destroyed for the construction of Palácio da Bolsa. But the church is still there is totally worth a visit.
The interior of the church dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, being considered one of the most important examples of gold carved woodwork in a Baroque style. Count Raczinsky said that “the gild of this church is so beautiful and rich that goes far beyond everything I have seen in Portugal and in the whole world”!
The church also have a big catacomb that holds the members of the Franciscan order! From a glass window on the floor you can see the plies of human bones below your feet. Very creepy but also super cool! In 1910 the São Francisco Church became a National Monument and in 1996 was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
São Francisco Church is a place you shouldn’t miss during your visit to Porto! Check here our suggestions for more places you should visit. And you can see this and many more great places in Porto with us! Book a tour to discover everything that the city has to offer :D