At Porto’s historic centre stands the Igreja dos Clerigos, the “Church of the Clerics” or Clérigos Church, dating from 1750. Between 1754 and 1763 an extension was built — the Clérigos Tower (Torre dos Clérigos in Portuguese, which also translates as “Clerics’ Tower”). The tower is even more well-known than the church itself: an impressive six-floored, 75 metre tall structure that dominates the city’s landscape. Along with the Church, the Clérigos Tower is one of Porto’s landmarks and an important legacy of Portugal’s Baroque period.
The building was designed by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni who also oversaw its construction, by request of a religious order — Irmandade dos Clérigos Pobres (“The Brotherhood of Poor Clerics”). After his death, the architect would later be buried in a small chapel within the church itself.
The Church’s front is decorated with typically elaborated Baroque decorative elements, while the inside granite walls are covered in talha dourada trabalhada. Inside the Tower a 240 step staircase grants access to the top, where one can enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the city. The church bell is installed halfway through the tower and its windows are decorated with balusters.
The Church is also the stage for regular organ music performances that make good use of the huge instrument installed in the main chapel.