WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Entrance doors.
The Convent and Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo.

Walking into the Archaelogical  ruins .This amazing sight just takes ones breath away.  The first stone was laid in July 1389 - Its written.  The day of our Lady of Carmo.

  For me to write about this most incredible well preserved Archaeological museum would take pages and pages.     Many of you, who have visited Lisbon will probably have visited the Carmo ruins.
        The Archaeologists have made such a wonderful display of  Christian Sculpture of he high middle ages-- plus pieces from earlier and later periods.   All the pieces are not just from the Lisbon area or the convent.. but have been brought from other parts of Portugal.    Pieces from the iron age, bronze age- Gothic sculptures.   Just to name a few.
                                          Kings, princes , Bishops and Archbishops, Knights, Queens. are buried here.

  Many Islamic pieces from the time of their 700 year occupation of Iberia.

Coins have been found from Sancho ll and Afonso lll. 1223 to 1248.
My friend from England Eva and me, spent over 4 hours walking around this most captivating ruin.
some of the images are from my book.  Others are mine.  
If you are interested in Archaeology.. you will enjoy reading up about the Convento do Carmo.

Igreja de Sao Domingos / Church of st. Domingos- The entrance. 

Sao Domingos church is classified as a National monument.   Prior to the modern Portuguese Republic in 1910- Many royal weddings were held here.
It was formaly the home of the Inquisiton , Jesuit missionary GABRIEL MALAGRIDA.. He was executed at the church in 1761.  After being accused of treason.
The church was damaged by the earthquake of 1531, and almost destroyed by the devestating earthquake of 1755. The rebuilding wasn't completed until 1807.
In 1959 the church was devestated once more when a fire broke out in the building.   It killed 2 firemen and took more than 6 hours to extinguish.. it completely gutted the church.
Destroying valuable paintings and statues.. in 1994 the church re opened.

We were both most fascinated with this magnificent building.
On entering, A very strange feeling came over me.  It was just so overwhelming to see the work that had been done after such a devestating fire.    Its hard to describe it.  
Its been left as it was.. but cleaned up.. and brought back to life.
This has been done on purpose ..... The history of the church being so intriguing .
Sao Domingos church is " Baroque" architecture at its best.

My friend Eva from Cambridge.. works at the University of Cambridge.. We met on a watercolor workshop 4 years ago, in Greece (Corfu Island)..and have communicated ever since.  

Igreja  de Sao Domingos.. (Inside) people were arriving for 4pm mass.  Saturdays.

another view of the inside.. but I couldn't get any closer, my zoom  is not good enough.. looks like a new camera for next year.     ( typical terracota colored ceilings)  A church with such history.  If only walls could talk.!!

We sat here by the side of the river Tejo.  A lovely new esplanade has been built.   One can sit and watch the yachts and ferries go by.   So much has been done for the better in downtown Lisbon.  

We visited Rossio and took photos of the beautiful traditional paving that we have in the Lisbon streets.
4 wonderful days spent visiting places that I had passed by so many times, and never been in.
It was a wonderful 4 days.  Our B & B  to be recommended..  Zuzarte Apartments and B & B..

We then returned to the Alentejo. Visiting the Temple of Diana , and local museums. Evora is a UNESCO town and a most beautiful one too.   I live 25 min away.

This summer, has been a very busy summer for me.   I have been absent from blogging , and have missed you all.
I look forward to visiting you and catching up with all your lovely blogs.
Autumn is now with us.  September nearly at an end.   I am sure you have all had wonderful holidays ..
I am happy I chose to holiday here in Portugal this year.  Doing things that I wouldn't do normally. It was great to do it with a friend.

Wishing you all a great week.



  1. lovely old ruins and relics. very neat. and glad you connected with your friend, too.

    1. Thank you Tex.. It was great to visit these places with a likeminded friend.

  2. Hello Val

    How great it is that Eva and you managed to get together and have a holiday in Lisbon. This Church of St. Domingos is magnificant. I love such churches where people have prayed for hundreds of years.
    It has been a wonderful summer with lots of travelling and visiting. Fond wishes,
    Helen xx

    1. Dear Helen, thank you for your kind comment. Eva and me had a wonderful time.. we have much in common.
      I think that is the feeling that i felt, when entering st. Domingos church.. it was a strange feeling.. something familiar.. It is as you wrote.. its a place where people have prayed for hundreds of years.
      best wishes Helen.. xxx

  3. Dear Val, it was lovely to see a post from you and read all about your lovely holiday with your friend. The The Convent and Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo are so interesting to see. I would love to sit looking out at the River too! Sarah x

    1. Thank you Sarah,
      It was a good time that Eva and myself spent visiting the museums and convents - an injection of culture.. especially me living here in the rural countryside.
      Sitting by the river Tejo is very calming indeed..you would like it.

  4. Val, for you to live there must be so heartwarming when you visit such places...places that made history!!! ...:)JP

    1. Indeed very heartwarming.. so much to see and visit.
      Thank you JP

  5. Your photos are wonderful my friend. It's so good to hear you've been busy and had a good summer. It's flown by.... but in a good way! Hugs!

    1. Thanks Diane.. A wonderful 2014 summer. Autumn here now.
      It has flown.

  6. Dear Val, What an interesting time you had in Lisbon. I love archeology and learning about the past in this way...as we have been doing in Rome on our holiday. I have not heard of Our Lady of Carmo. The church does vary from country to country. Your friend Eva looks fun - I'll bet you had a great time together. I am home now, with jet lag, but enjoyed my holiday too. xxx

    1. Hello Patricia,
      Nice to see you back home in downunder.!! Your trip was such a lovely one.. enjoyed so much seeing all the places you visited.
      Yes, church customs differ from country to country.. here we have Our Lady of Fatima. I must find out about our lady of Carmo.
      Eva and me had a great time. We like the same things.
      hope your getting over your jet lag.. Thanks for leaving your comment.

  7. Oh Val, that is spectacular and so very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much Jen. I am pleased that you enjoyed this post.

  8. So glad you enjoyed your holiday it sounds as if you had a great time with your friend - such interesting places you visited too.

    1. Thank you elaine,
      It was really a weeks visit to the museums and old ruins.
      Always better with a friend.. We both have the same likes and art in common.

  9. Hello Val!
    What an interesting post!Lovely old ruins ! This Church of St. Domingos is magnificant,it reminds me the gotthic churches i saw in Delft!So glad to meet your friend Eva!Is she from Greece?I'm sure you had a great time on your trip!Thank you for sharing!Have a lovely week!

    1. Hi Dimi,
      Yes the sao Domingos church has gothic architecture too.
      No.. Eva is from Cambridge in UK.. but we met in Greece.
      Thanks for your comment Dimi.

  10. I envy you so much right now. I have always wanted to visit those places. Maybe one day. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Who knows Betty, Maybe one day, you can visit these wonderful old ruins and churches of Europe.
      pleased you enjoyed the post.

  11. Hi Val. What an interesting post, Val. Such beautiful architecture and wonderful history. Your part of the world is such an interesting place and I'm so glad that you travel so much so I can find out about it all..Happy Wednesday..Judy

    1. I am pleased that you found this post interesting Judy.. The whole week was very interesting for us both.
      Lisbon is a very very old city.. and has so much too see.
      Thank you for leaving your kind comment.

  12. I really enjoyed reading about everything you saw. When we were in Lisbon we visited the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian – there were great pieces of art there too. I had read about the town of Evora and wished to go there, but we did not have a car, and took a bus tour to a closer town. Lisbon is such a beautiful city – I loved it there.


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