Torre dos Clérigos
Genuine baroque work by Nicolau Nasoni, an ex-libris monument of the city of Porto.
The Church of Clérigos (Ecclesiastics) is a genuine baroque masterpiece dating from the mid-18th century. It was designed by Nicolau Nasoni, an architect of Italian origin. He stamped his mark on many monuments around Oporto and the north of Portugal. Nasoni, on his request, was buried here in a small chapel with its gateway at the same level as the top of the double bolster stairway.
The front of the church shows off its highly interesting and beautiful baroque finishing with its contours, domes and spires worthy of closer inspection. The interior has but a single nave in granite and marble and covered in baroque carvings again demonstrating the skill of the architect. In the main chapel, attention is drawn to the polychromatic altarpiece by Manuel Porto.
However, what sets this construction apart is the Tower; constructed in granite protruding out of the top of the western side of the church. This is the highly distinctive landmark of Oporto. The tower extends upwards through 75 metres of elegance forming rhythmic stages before rising to its crowning glory, the spherical clock house. The baroque decoration is thoroughly delicate and off a wonderful lightness.
In 1917, the Tower of Clérigos was successfully climbed by two Spanish acrobats, the Puertullanos, a father and son team, in front of an enormous crowd. This is a feat that, on looking up at the Tower, would seem impossible.
An inner staircase (240 degrees) enables access to the top. For those wishing to avoid the feats of the Puertullanos this is the best means to gain access to one of the most beautiful panoramic views over all of Oporto.