Updated on January 23, 2023
As you stand in Rossio Square and you look toward the hill where Castelo de Sao Jorge is, you may notice a beautiful ruin that stands out from the ocean of orange roofs. That’s what’s left of Carmo Convent, a Gothic style monastery from the 14th century.
Any 4-day Lisbon itinerary should include Carmo Convent. It is right in the center of the city, close to so many other landmarks and attractions, that you won’t need to go out of your way to visit it. Besides, visiting the convent won’t take more than 30 minutes.
What You'll Read About
How to Visit Carmo Convent
Use Your Lisbon Card or Buy Your Ticket at the Entrance
To start with, I’d recommend that you reserve your Lisbon Card here. The Lisbon card is a 24, 48 or 72-hour pass that grants you unlimited access to the public transport system, free admission to some tourist spots and discounts at Carmo Convent and other objectives. Click here to see the list of Lisbon attractions that are free with this card.
If you don’t have a Lisbon Card, you can visit the Carmo Convent by buying your ticket at the entrance. The ticket price is 5 Euro for adults. Children up to 14 years can enter for free. For seniors, students and owners of the Lisbon Card the Carmo Convent price is 4 Euro.
The Carmo Convent is open from Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 7pm during May-September, and between 10am and 6pm during October-April. Click here to visit the official website of Museu Arqueologico do Carmo.
I visited the convent in December. Even though that’s off season, you may find a big line at the ticket desk. Getting to the convent in the morning can help, but that’s not ideal for beautiful photos. If you want to visit the ruins at the golden hour, you’ll need to put up with the line.
The address of Carmo Convent is Largo do Carmo, Chiado.
Carmo Convent History and Facts
This historic monastery located in Lisbon, Portugal, the Carmo Convent, also known as the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was founded by Nuno Álvares Pereira.
The Carmo Convent is known for its Gothic architecture, boasting arched windows and doors, pointed spires, and ornate carvings. The monastery is also home to a cloister, a chapel, and a chapter house. The place is nowadays a museum, hosting ancient artifacts such as an Egyptian mummy and two South American mummies of children. The museum is in the former nave area of the church.
One of the most notable features of the Carmo Convent is its ruins, left behind after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755. The earthquake destroyed much of the city, including the Carmo Convent, which was left in ruins.
Overall, the Carmo Convent is an important cultural and historical site in Lisbon, offering you a glimpse into the city’s past. In addition, it is a great opportunity to explore the pillars and other elements of the beautiful Gothic architecture.
Carmo Convent Ruins
The Gothic ruins are gorgeous. You’ll want to take lots of photos from all angles. I surely did. Unfortunately, the day I visited the convent the sky was dull and gray, so my photos of the ruins didn’t come out great.
The tomb of Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira is located in the main chapel of Carmo Convent, which sits now under the bare sky. The tomb is one of the few surviving elements of the convent. As you can see from my photo, below, the tomb is a simple stone slab with a recumbent effigy of the knight, and it is decorated with his coat of arms.
Carmo Convent Archeological Museum
The Carmo Convent is home to the Museum of Archaeology, which houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits related to the history of Portugal. The museum is located in the former chapter house of the convent and is a popular destination for visitors interested in learning about the country’s past.
Maria Anna, Queen Consort of Portugal
Maria Anna of Austria, also known as Maria Anna of Spain, was a queen consort of Portugal. She was the daughter of Philip IV of Spain and Elisabeth of France, and she was the sister of Charles II of Spain. Maria Anna married King John IV of Portugal in 1646, and she served as queen consort until her husband’s death in 1656.
During her time as queen consort, Maria Anna played a significant role in the political and cultural life of Portugal. She supported the arts and sciences, and she founded the Royal Academy of Sciences in Lisbon. Maria Anna also worked to improve the education of women in Portugal, and she established the Convent of the Misericórdia in Lisbon, which was a center of learning for women.
After the death of her husband, Maria Anna returned to Spain and retired to a convent, where she died in 1679. Despite her brief tenure as queen consort, Maria Anna had a lasting impact on Portuguese society, and she is remembered as a patron of the arts and education. Her tomb is in the Carmo Convent Museum.
Various Artifacts in the Archeology Museum
Even though they aren’t related to the history of Carmo Convent, these artifacts are interesting. They add value to this museum and make it well-worth visiting.
Where Is Carmo Convent in Lisbon?
Lisbon’s Convento do Carmo is very easy to find. Located near the Santa Justa Elevator and Baixa-Chiado Metro station (Green Line), this museum is definitely worth a visit. It is one of the most interesting landmarks in Portugal.
Here’s how to get to Carmo Convent:
From the Baixa-Chiado metro station, walk up to Rua do Carmo. Within a few minutes, you should arrive at Largo do Carmo. The convent will be on your right.
If you want to walk from Rossio Square, take Rua do Ouro and walk until you reach the intersection with Rua do Carmo. Turn left on Rua do Carmo and walk until you reach Largo do Carmo.
The walk from Rossio Square to Carmo Convent should take about 15-20 minutes, depending on your pace. Rossio Square is located in the heart of Lisbon, so you will pass many interesting sights and landmarks on your way to the convent.
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