Tavira Churches

Igreja da Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Carmo

The prosperity of the Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel de Tavira, founded in the early eighteenth century, resulted in the construction of a solemn church to promote Carmelite ideal of attaining Christian perfection, fostering the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, with special devotion and prayer to the Virgin of Carmen.Started in 1747, the church is one of the most sumptuous of Algarve and took 43 years to complete.
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The prosperity of the Third Order of Our Lady of Carmo de Tavira, founded in the early eighteenth century, resulted in the construction of a solemn temple for the promotion of the Carmelite ideal: achieving Christian perfection, fostering the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, with special devotion and prayer to the Virgin of Carmo. Started in 1747, the temple is one of the most sumptuous in the Algarve. It was designed perpendicular to the convent church of the barefoot Carmelite friars, which was also under construction at the same time. It was, moreover, the Third Order that years earlier had asked those responsible for the discalced Carmelites of the Province of Portugal to found a convent in Tavira, with a view to building its own temple attached. As a result of the union of these two Carmelite churches, public access to the temple of the third is made by the south side of the transept, from Largo do Carmo, while the door located at the end of the nave communicated with the convent church. The church of the Third Order was completed around 1789, the year in which the last payments were made to the master construction site Manuel Sousa Barros. The works of the annexed convent, however, dragged on for many years, and it was not completed at the time of the extinction of religious orders in 1834. Thus, part of its facilities were used by the brothers third to cemetery, while another part was sold to private individuals. The generous proportions of this church, which adopted a plant in the form of a Latin cross, are complemented with a rich and exuberant ornamentation composed of altarpieces, imaginary and paintings, evoking the main figures of Carmelite spirituality: N. Sr.ª do Carmo, St. Elias, St. Teresa of Ávila, St. Albert, St. Efigénia. By its sense of totality and magnificence, typically Baroque, it is worthy of highlight the ornamentation of the chancel, in which apply and combine various artistic disciplines – carving, imaginary, painting in an illusionist perspective of the ceiling and easel painting on the walls – to attract and dazzle the faithful. Also mandatory reference for the cycle of altarpieces of this church, already integrated in the Rococo form, with emphasis on the main altarpiece, praised as a masterpiece of the Algarvian carving.

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