Tavira Churches

In the Algarve region, and to the South of the Tagus river, Tavira is certainly the city with most churches. The impressive number of temples and religious institutions that passed through the city is one of the identity features of Tavira.

Tavira came close to have three dozen churches (yes you read well, 36) of various sizes and characteristics. Not all remain in a state of being visited. But why so many churches? According to the Museum technician Daniel Santana, the large number of churches is related to the role of Tavira in the sixteenth century, a key period in the history of the city much to do with the discoveries and the Portuguese expansion.

Tavira was the port of entry and exit from the North of Africa and there are churches deeply associated with these events. The Convento das Bernardas for example, was founded because of a vote that King D. Manuel made ​​to the liberation of Tanger. Then, Convento da Graça (now a Hotel) was founded because the friars at one point abandoned Azamor and came to Tavira. For its part, the hospital church was of great importance in healing the wounded coming in galleys from Africa.

Despite the high number still existent nowadays, many temples from that time did not resist being closed and the degradation and its fillings were dismembered. Others were eventually demolished.