In Porto we can visit numerous churches, spread over every corner of the city. But one of them stands out above all the others, not only because of its location and history but also because of its peculiar interior, not without controversy but certainly surprising.
The Church of San Francisco is located next to the Stock Exchange Palace, in fact they became part of the same Franciscan convent that was built in Porto in the 14th century in Romanesque and Gothic styles, although it also has Baroque elements, such as its façade.
And it is also located next to the Ribeira neighborhood, so its visit is a must if you are in Porto.
Visit the Church of San Francisco in Porto
The exterior of the Church of San Francisco may not call your attention too much, beyond its size and the beautiful staircase from the sidewalk to its curious baroque doorway that gives access to its interior. And it is there, inside, where we can admire all its charm.
Inside you will only see one color, gold. And it is that its ceilings and walls are covered with 300kg of gold dust that give this church such an ostentatious air that it was even closed centuries ago so as not to inconvenience the population of Porto who suffered the rigors of economic crises and hunger. of the time. Today, it is still covered in gold and the controversy is still alive.
Apart from its golden coating, in the Church of San Francisco we will be fascinated by the Jesse Tree, a polychrome wooden sculpture that is found in one of its chapels and is considered one of the best wooden sculptures in the world. It is worth stopping for a few minutes in front of it to admire it. The rest of the chapels are also very interesting thanks to their altarpieces and sculptures.
Another of the places in the Church of San Francisco that you should not miss are its Catacombs, located under the church and where numerous Franciscan monks are buried, as well as members of different noble families from the history of the city. But what is most surprising about the catacombs of the Church of San Francisco is the ossuary on the ground with thousands of human bones that can be admired behind a glass window. Startling. The remains date from before 1866 when burials were prohibited in this place for public health.