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A convent for the Carmelite Order
The Gothic lines of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel went up on the orders of Nun'Álvares Pereira, who helped Dom João I consolidate the rule of Portugal’s second dynasty, the House of Avis.
Pereira, known as the Condestável, or Constable, founded the church and convent to fulfill a pledge made before a battle, and was adamant in his choice of location – despite the nearby precipice and various false starts after foundations caved in.
During the 1755 earthquake the roof fell in on a crowd of All Saints' Day worshipers, leaving the structure near collapse with only the walls and some vault ribbing still standing.
Said by many to be the most beautiful church in Lisbon, it has been left roofless ever since, and now a grassy lawn carpets what was once the central nave. The Archaeological Museum, a ragbag of finds from around Europe, is in the back end of the church.