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Sights & Landmarks
Chapel of Souls, also known as Capela das Almas in Portuguese, is a relatively small church located in Porto (Northern Portugal), which is considered as one of the oldest historic centres of Europe. The chapel conveniently resides right in the middle of the main shopping street of Porto, named Rua de Santa Catarina, Santo Ildefonso district. It is always at the top of must-see landmarks for tourists to see and probably the most photographed building.
The chapel, originally looking very moderate with its wooden exterior and interior, evolved into a more grandiose church. It is known for being Chapel of Souls for two equally probable reasons: first of all, it conceals in its altars the image of Our Lady of Souls (Nossa Senhora das Almas), existent since the original construction (the 18th century). Secondly, because of the Brotherhood of Souls and Chagas who became part of Capela das Almas and got it documented on the facade of the chapel. Chapel of Souls has really splendid exterior which is most famous for.
From the outside, the observer can enjoy the view of its surface fully covered with blue and white ceramic tiles called azulejos, by author Eduardo Leite. The tiles meticulously depict different religious plots, death of Saint Francis of Assisi and martyrdom of Saint Catherine in particular. The coverage of the church dates back to the 20th century, during which the architect perfectly imitated the classic style of the previous century. Also, the front of the building contains a captivating stained glass window, demonstrating das almas, the souls. The author of all the stained glass windows in the Chapel of Souls is Amândio Silva. Unlike the ceramic tile's design, the painting of those was made in the 19th century. The church has two entrances - the main one into the bell-tower, two stories high.
The interior looks astonishing as well with its neat neoclassical style. Tourists can freely visit the church at any time of the year and any day of the week. Some travelers advise attending mass at the Chapel of Souls to experience the ethereal atmosphere of spirituality, combined with magnificent surroundings. With that being said, don't forget to come around, when you are in Porto - it is definitely the sight to be seen!
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