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“Breath taking”

Carmo Archaeological Museum
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and up
Family Tour: Enchanted Lisbon
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Lisbon Essential Tour: History Stories Lifestyle
Ranked #29 of 427 things to do in Lisbon
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator, Activities for older children
Level 6 Contributor
1,292 reviews
560 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 362 helpful votes
“Breath taking”
Reviewed January 31, 2013

We stepped in and we were truly amazed because the cathedral was open air! It was left in ruins by the earthquake and kept in this state as a reminder of the earthquake. this is so different from all the other churches that we have visited. Yet there is something very magnificent and quiet. The tall walls call out into the sky and this seems a perfect place to commune with God.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank youke_worldwide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Los Gatos, California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Gothic church with vaults gone”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This late Gothic church lost its vaults in the earthquake of 1755 but the ribs and walls are still standing giving it an eerie but wonderful appearance. Many interesting old monuments along the walls and in the Archaeological Museum in the choir where the vaults are still standing. Take the Santa Justa or Carmo Elevador to get there for an exciting early 20th-century experience, especially walking along the connecting bridge (not for those afraid of heights but perfectly sturdy and great views). The Carmo Square looked very interesting and full of local color, but we didn't have time to stay, alas.

Visited October 2012
Thank CAhistorian95030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
91 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Stunned into Silence”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

What was lost from Carmo Convent speaks as powerfully as what remains. In a city of towering Romanesque, Moorish and Manueline architecture, Igreja do Carmo is a breathtaking departure from the mass of architectural scale and detail seen at every turn in Lisbon. This church with the sky for a ceiling will stun you into awed silence

Taking the Santa Justa elevator (also known as the Carmo Lift) up to the church is an experience in itself, as you rise above the bustling city below onto a suddenly more peaceful hill. You step off of the elevator and under one of the convent’s massive flying buttresses that survived the terrible 1755 earthquake. Carmo sits on a typical Lisbon squares, but in a more serene, less commercial space than you just left below – perhaps the church works its hushed magic on all who approach.

Walking into the main sanctuary, which took the brunt of the quake, is almost a shock – though you know the story of roofless Carmo, you’re still unprepared for the moment of walking into an immense Gothic church that is completely open to the sky. The delicate pointed arches that once supported the roof soar overhead like the bleached bones of some massive prehistoric bird. Against the dazzling blue Lisbon sky those arches looked even more fragile, but one is mindful that they’ve survived wars, kings, disasters and tourists. In the off-season the crowd was small and mostly adult, and they spoke in hushed, respectful tones as though touring one of Lisbon’s many active churches.

The church has been a museum since the 1850s, so along with some of the original quake rubble you’ll stroll among cultural, architectural and religious artifacts set high on the walls or on the ground. Most all of the labels are in Portuguese, so bring your phrasebook if you want to understand what you’re seeing. The smaller vaulted chapels that survived the quake house a wide array of archaeological relics, including the ornate tomb of King Ferdinand I, thousand-year-old coins and even two small South American mummies.

While the museum collection is eclectic and fascinating, I kept returning to stand wordlessly under the open arches and look up at the niches, saints and crosses that seemed to float against the clear Lisbon sky.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Ryanr98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“An Earth-quake surviver...”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

A ruin (and museum) with a fantastic view over central Lisbon; collumns still standing after the big earthquake in 1755. And placed by a praca that itself are both beatiful and filled with both older and newer historical interest...

Visited August 2012
Thank MantelDK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A lovely stop on your way through the Chiado”
Reviewed December 15, 2012

This is not a "destination site," but a great place to stop as you amble through the neighborhood. The church is in (picturesque) ruins, and the small archeological museum in the back has some real treasures, including two Peruvian mummies, of all things.

Visited December 2012
Thank profe1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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