Near the end stop of elétrico 28 (Prazeres) you pass a huge church, built in neo-gothic style. Every time again I’m surprised that this imposing church: Igreja do Santo Condestável. stands in the middle of a residential area.
This church was built and consecrated in 1951. The building originates from the so called “New Churches” movement, which designs and builds this kind of buildings according to a kind of modernist approach. They try to “test the modernist relations by allowing new materials and techniques”. In doing so, they go back to a “revival of styles”.
That all sounds very architecturally and philosophically sound, and it is. But more importantly, as said before, it has mainly become a very imposing church. You only believe how big the building is when you’re standing in front of it on the square and walk towards the immense double doors. That too is impressive, because the square in front of the church is gigantic in and of itself.
Large, larger, largest
The Igreja do Santo Condestável does fit in the category large, larger, largest. This was especially visible to us when our then three-year-old daughter stood on the steps in front of the church, it made her seem really tiny again.
The church was built in honour of D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, a Portuguese field marshal who won the Battle of Aljubarrota against a considerable supremacy of Castilians. Interestingly enough, this Nuno Álvares Pereira was also the founder of the Convento do Carmo.