Here you will learn about Lisbon’s Convento do Carmo Ruins and find everything you need to know to plan a visit to Lisbon’s Convento do Carmo ruins – including a map, ticket information, hours, history, and special events.
One of Lisbon’s most stunning sites, the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Convento da Ordem do Carmo) was built between 1389 and 1423, making it Lisbon’s fifth oldest public building.
It was mostly destroyed during the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.
The ruins of the beautiful Gothic church have stood for the last 300 years as a reminder of the disaster that destroyed much of Lisbon.
Here is everything you need to know for a visit to Lisbon’s Convento do Carmo ruins and Archaeological Museum.
Convento do Carmo / (Carmo Convent) Basic Information, location, admission, hours
Largo do Carmo
GPS: 38.71227044064784, -9.140267559912655
Hours: Monday -Saturday,
October – April 10 am – 6 pm
May – September 10 am – 7 pm
Closed on Sundays
Admission: €5 adults, €4 students, seniors, or Lisboa Card. Children under 14 are free.
The minimum charge on a credit or debit card is €8.
Free audio guides are available and there are also guided tours.
The entire museum and all entrances are wheelchair-accessible. Guide dogs are welcomed.
Official website: https://www.museuarqueologicodocarmo.pt/info_en.html
How to get to the Convento do Carmo (Carmo Convent)
- Bus 758
- Tram 28
- Metro Green or Blue line , exit at Baixa Chiado station
- Elevador de Santa Justa. You can read my article, Elevador de Santa Justa | Everything you need to know – Lisbon travel ideas
History of Lisbon’s Carmo Convent and Archaeological Museum
The Carmo Convent was built by Nuno Álvarez Pereira (1360 – 1431), who is possibly Portugal’s greatest warrior and military leader, having been one of the commanders who won independence from Castille in the Battle of Aljubarrota.
He went on to join the Carmelite Order, moved into the Carmo Convent, and was initially buried there.
In 2009, he was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI and is known as Saint Nuno de Santa Maria.
His remains are now in the church that was dedicated to him, the Igreja do Santo Condestável (Church of the Holy Constable).
The convent and church had a prominent position in Lisbon – due to its connection to one of Portugal’s greatest heroes, the location on the hill across from the Castelo de São Jorge, and its beautiful and imposing gothic architecture.
On Saturday, November 1, 1755, around 9:45 am, the church was filled for All Saint’s Day Mass, and the Great Lisbon Earthquake struck, killing all inside the church.
The strongest earthquake ever to hit Europe, scientists agree that it would have measured at least 8.4 on the Richter scale.
It is said that teacups shook as far away as Ireland.
It killed between 30,000 and 50,000 people in Lisbon, leveling an estimated 85% of the city.
As the earth shook, candles all over town were knocked over, causing fires.
And then the aftershocks caused tidal waves and flooding.
Many of Portugal’s treasures from the Age of Exploration were lost, as was most of the city’s early and medieval architecture.
Following the earthquake of 1755, the man in charge of rebuilding Lisbon, the Marquês de Pombal, decided that the Convento do Carmo’s gothic arches should not be rebuilt, that they should be a reminder of what had happened.
And that is how the church has remained for close to three centuries.
Today you have the walls, the skeleton of vaulted gothic arches, but no ceiling or roof. The open air-church is unforgettable.
In 1834, the Portuguese government disbanded all religious orders in the country.
In 1864, the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists opened Portugal’s first art and archaeological museum in the ruins of the convent.
Today the museum holds more than 1000 items in its permanent collection.
There are artifacts taken from Paleolithic and Neolithic settlements (3500 BC) prior to the village of Azambuja near Lisbon.
Royal tombs in the Museum include King Ferdinand (1367 – 1383) who left no male heirs to the throne.
Interestingly, Ferdinand may have been poisoned.
As the lineage waa disputed, his illegitimate brother, John I, of Castille’s House of Aviz took over the Portuguese crown.
The Castilians ruled Portugal until the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385.
You will also find a Roman sarcophagus, an Egyptian mummy, and Incan mummies from Peru.
In the lovely Carmo Square (Largo do Carmo), you will find Carmo Fountain which was built in 1771.
The fountain served water carried by the Aguas Livres Aqueduct.
Today you can walk across the aqueduct. For more information, see my article,
The square also has a kiosk selling coffee, wine, cocktails, and snacks.
There is outdoor seating, and you can sit by and enjoy the many street performers.
To the right of the convent is an entrance to the Terraços do Carmo, an open-air bar and cafe with views of the castle.
You will also find an entrance for the Santa Justa lift, as well as a free elevator that takes you down to the Baixa neighborhood. For more information on the Santa Justa Lift, read my Elevador de Santa Justa | Everything you need to know
Hotels located near Convento do Carmo
Hotel Lisboa Carmo
Rua da Oliveira ao Carmo, 1-3. GPS Coordinates: 38.71239769967961, -9.141249429735584 Luxury rooms with air-conditioning start at $291 per night. Guests can have breakfast in their rooms, or enjoy the buffet breakfast. Some rooms have river views or castle views. To book: https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/lisboa-carmo.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2
Feeling Chiado 15
Largo do Carmo 15. GPS Coordinates: 38.71208350261525, -9.141106460418477 Air-conditioned suite with a queen bed starts at $125 a night. The hotel is located on the fourth floor of a 19th century building that does not have an elevator, however some of the rooms have balconies and city views and castle views.
The Ivens, Autograph Collection
Rua Capelo 5. GPS Coordinates: 38.70990669458212, -9.140326602747807 A 231-square-foot room with air-conditioning and a king-sized bed is available for $624 per night. The hotel offers a la carte breakfast, and free, private parking is available. To book: https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/the-ivens-autograph-collection.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2
Yes! Lisbon Hostel
Rua São Julião 148. GPS Coordinates: 38.70934658029476, -9.137715202747808 One of Lisbon’s most popular hostels, they have beds for $56 per night. The air-conditioned hostel has a bar and organizes pub crawls and other nightly entertainment. Breakfast is available, as well as lockers and laundry. To book:
Lisbon Legends show and Lisbon Under the Stars Show
The Lisbon Legends show debuted September 9 – October 30, 2021. The show presented a 360-degree audiovisual journey through the Legends and Myths of Lisbon’s Seven Hills.
Organized in partnership with the Museu Arquelógico do Carmo and OCUBO, the Lisbon Under Stars show presented 600 years of history through music and dance in a 3D format on the walls of the Carmo Church.
The show covered the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrata, the Age of Exploration, the 1755 earthquake, and the Carnation Revolution of 1974 which ended the Estado Novo government in Portugal.
The 3D Lisbon Under Stars performances by some of the biggest names in Portuguese entertainment, including Mariza, Rão Kyao, Teresa Salgueiro, Coro de Caaámara de Lisboa Cantat, Orquesta de Cámara da GNR, Tocá Rufar, and Paulo Marinho.
Be on the lookout for future events at the Carmo Convent ruins!
Continuing northwest from the Convento do Carmo, you will eventually discover the Church (Igreja) de São Roque São Roque Church in Lisbon – What to know before visiting and the São Pedro de Alcantâra scenic viewpoint.
From here you can easily turn west to explore the Jardím de Prícipe Real and the Bairro Alto neighborhood, or you can take the Ascensor da Glória funicular downhill to Praça dos Restauradores, nearby Rossio Square, and the Baixa neighborhood.
The Carmo Convent ruins are one of Lisbon’s must-see sites. See my articles on the other things you must check out in Lisbon:
Thanks for reading about Lisbon’s Convento do Carmo Ruins. Prices may vary. If you decide to book a hotel through one of the links on this page, I will earn a small commission that does not affect the price you pay for your room.