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Igreja de Santa Maria - Lagos

Igreja de Santa Maria
© Kolforn (Wikimedia)
Igreja de Santa Maria de Lagos interior
© Manuel V Botelho / CC BY-SA 3.0
Igreja Santa Maria de Lagos
© Martin Robson / CC BY-SA 3.0

Lagos Parish Church

The Igreja Matriz de Santa Maria (Saint Mary's Church) in Lagos has been a place of worship since 1498, and continues to be a vibrant local parish church. The original building is thought to have once had a hospital attached but almost all of what you see today was rebuilt in the 19th century. 

The church was extended at various times over the centuries, and suffered significant damage in the Great Earthquake of 1755, after which it needed rebuilding. The whitewashed exterior has two bell towers, Doric columns and a sculptured, Renaissance door.

The relatively understated, bright interior is a far cry from the plush grandeur of some of Lagos’s other churches.  There is a single nave, a raised choir and there are three side chapels. A statue of Saint Goncalo, a 15th century saint who became an Augustinian preacher and was considered to be the patron saint of local fishermen, is on display here.

This is a good place to come for a few moments of quiet contemplation.  It is not far from the site of the old slave market.

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One of the most popular tourist destinations on the Algarve and certainly one of my favourites, Lagos is a bustling town full of activity, nightlife and modern attractions. However, it is also a town full of history and the monuments...

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