S. José das Taipas’ church
The Church is surrounded by Clérigos church and Tower, the Portuguese Centre of Photography, Cadeira da Relação (Oporto’s old jail), Olival Fountain, Largo of Doomed Love, Cordoaria Garden and Almeida Garrett's house.
In neoclassical style, its construction began in 1795 and ended in 1878. The temple has a single nave in cradle vault, supported by ten arches. It is the work of Carlos Amarante, architect and military engineer of neoclassicism much of whose work can be seen in the north of Portugal including well-known monuments such as Bom Jesus, Church of the Pópulo and Church of St. Mark's Hospital, all in Braga; São Gonçalo Bridge over the Tâmega river, in Amarante; “Ponte das Barcas” (Bridge of Boats) in Oporto, which no longer exists; the headquarters of the University of Porto; Trinity Church, in Porto; and Brejoeira’s Palace in Monção.
Inside the church you can find a painting depicting the Disaster of “Ponto das Barcas” (Bridge of Boats), which occurred on March 29, 1809. It is an original copper etching, which has remained in Ribeira, the place where the bridge was built, until 1896. Today, it is protected in the interior of the church and in its place was put another piece in bronze, sculpted by Teixeira Lopes. This altar, which is still cared for by local people, is called the Alminhas Bridge. Its history is closely linked to the French Invasion and the violence and terror that the invasiours casted upon the local community has not been forgotten. On the right side of the gateway it is still possible to collect alms for the souls of those who perished in the Disaster of the Bridge of Boats, the most striking episode during the French invasion and its assault on the city.
There are other works of art worth mentioning, such as a crib from the XVIII century, attributed to Machado de Castro’s School, a painting of the old German school representing Our Lady of Divine Providence and other works that are today in the museum space of the Church.
It is still possible to visit the crypt by appointment, and the bell tower from where you can enjoy a fantastic view of Oporto and the whole area of the ancient “Porta do Olival” (olive grove door).
The church is administered by the Brotherhood of Souls of St. Joseph of Taipas, established in 1780. In the past, the Brotherhood annually celebrated the disaster of the Bridge of Boats with a procession that left the church and headed to the site of Alminhas Bridge.
|Altar da Igreja das Taipas||Altar da Igreja das Taipas com pintura alusiva ao desastre da Ponte das Barcas||Pormenor do Presépio de Machado de Castro na área de visitação da Igreja das Taipas|
Worship times: Last Thursday of the month at 9.30 pm
Religious feasts: St. Joseph - on the 19th of March – Vitória Parish celebrates Mass in Taipas; St. Joseph - the Brotherhood organizes solemn Mass on the Saturday or Sunday closest to the 19th of March; Pilgrimage to the Bridge - Saturday or Sunday closest to the 29th of March; Solemn Mass of St. Nicholas Tolentino - November; Taizé prayer (organized by the Brotherhood) - 3rd Wednesday of the month
The Taipas Church is used as mortuary chapel of Vitória Parish, therefore all the funerals take place there. Guided tour time - 30 minutes
Monday to Friday – 10.30am to 1.30pm and 3pm to 6.30pm
Saturday – 10.30am to 1:30pm
Sunday - Closed