The Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Consolação (Church of Our Lady of Consolation) is one of Elvas’s hidden treasures. Set in the charming little square of Largo de Santa Clara the church doesn’t look particularly interesting from the outside, but step indoors and the interior will take your breath away. The walls, pillars and ceiling are covered with stunning 17th century patterned tiles, and there are three ornate gilt altars, dedicated to St Dominic, John the Baptist and St Thomas Aquinas.
The church has an interesting history. The mysterious Knights Templar were known to have had a church here, dedicated to Mary Magdalene and the current structure was built in 1557 as part of a convent complex. What is unusual is that the church is octagonal in shape - a feature thought by many to date back to its Templar heritage.
There is no cost to enter the church, although it is closed on Mondays and is not open to the public whilst Mass is being celebrated. As the church is quite small a visit is unlikely to last for very long but if you are in the area it’s well worth stopping off here.