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Blue Coast Churches & Chapels in Alcochete, Alentejo Portugal

Oct 10, 2007
This is an area where lime ovens used to abound, hence the name Alcochete which derives from the Arab word for them. The foundation of the population dates from the time of the reconquering.

It was important during the reign of the Kings D. Joao I and II who both spend long periods of time here.

The fact that the Princes of Beja settled here and consequently Manuel I was born in this town grew up under Royal protection. King D. Manuel I granted a Royal Charter in 1515 and noblemen invested in land in the area. From the XVII and XVIII centuries, as well as agriculture; salt mining and fishing became occupations for a majority of the population.

Towards the end of the XVIII century,
Jacome Ratton, an important industrialist, settled in the area. The town council was reinstated in 1898 and towards the end of the XIX century the beach used to be frequently visited by people from Lisbon.

Alcochete, Atalaia and Canha.
Parish Church of Alcochete. The church is very old and was built on existing foundations of an ancient mosque which underwent modifications at the beginning of the XVI century and went on until 1943.

Around the back of the building, an exquisite tiled cross bears the date 1678. This indicates that the main altar was re-built at this time.

The facade is Gothic as is the portal and the rose window. The belfry seems to be from the XVII century because of the type of corona it has. Inside there are three naves, Gothic- -Manueline in style.

The main chapel is from the XVII century and results, as we have said before, from remodelling at that time.

The walls are partially covered with blue and white tiles from early XVIII century and with other qualities, such as Mudajar, cornerpieces and some from the Manueline era. Other chapels are decorated with tiles from the sixteen hundreds.

In the vestry there is a magnificent example of an ark and XVI century Flamengan paintings on wood which originally came from the Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Matos, a very small chapel which got lost when the town expanded.

Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Vida (Chapel of Our Lady of Life) It is a small chapel with an architectural plan from the fifteen hundreds. The main facade is Mannerist and it is interesting to note the rustic stone door panels which flank the main and lateral doors.

There is one single nave which has a central shrine, covered by an elegant Mannerist dome. The builders, Dr. Afonso Frigueira and his wife are buried under the main shrine. the lateral walls of the main chapel are covered with panels of tiles from the XVIII century.

The church is situated in a beautiful place where both the River Tagus and Lisbon may be seen. Joined on to the church was a former hospital which once belonged to the local charity.

Church of Misericordia. The church has one single nave and its ceiling is wooden, from the XVIII century with paintings of Eucharistic value. The main chapel still shows its original altar piece, painted by Diogo Teixeira and Antonio da Costa in 1588.
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