Portugal's Churches: Igreja de Santo António, Lagos
Igreja de Santo António, Lagos
The Igreja de Santo António is a spectacular Baroque masterpiece of gilded wood, vivid paintings on a wooden vaulted ceiling and blue and white azulejos tiles. It is considered one of the finest church interiors in Portugal and is classified as a National Monument.
The church consists of single aisle and there are no side chapels. Half a dozen paintings depict the miracles of Saint Anthony and there is a fine statue of the saint with Jesus in his arms above the gilded altar.
Igreja de Santo António was constructed in 1707 but like so many churches in the Algarve suffered damage in the 1755 earthquake. The church was restored in 1769 when the azulejos and church dome were added. The gilded woodwork is believed to have been done by the engraver Custódio Mesquita, who also worked on the Igreja de São Sebastião in Lagos.
The interior also has a statue of of São Elói (Saint Eligius) - the patron saint of goldsmiths and horses.
Among the graves within the church is one of the Irish commander Hugh Beatty (aka Hugo Beaty), who fought with a local infantry regiment in 17th century conflicts with Spain. He died in Lagos in 1709. Beatty or Beaty was in charge of the Santo António fraternity and helped in the reconstruction of the church after the 1755 earthquake.
St. Anthony's feast day is celebrated on June 12.
Igreja de Santo António
Rua General Alberto da Silveira
Lagos 8600-594, Portugal.
Tel: 282 762 301
Hours: The Museu Municipal Dr. Jose Formosinho (and church) is open Tuesday-Sunday 9.30am -12.30pm and 2pm - 5pm; Closed: Mondays, and national holidays.
Admission: 3 Euros (on certain days entrance is free; April 18 (International Day for Monuments and Sites); May 18 (International Museum Day); August 23 (the anniversary of the museum's foundation); September 27 (World Tourism Day); October 27 (Lagos City Day).
The museum and church is close to the Slave Market Museum (Mercado de Escravos) and a 15-20 minute walk from the Museu de Cera dos Descobrimentos (Portuguese Discoveries Wax Museum) at the Marina on the other side of the river.