Notes from Portugal: Tiles from the dark side

On a lark, while on the road to Faro, Portugal, today we stopped in at the church in Almancil, the Church of St. Lawrence (Igreja de São Lourenço). It´s in a strange location: east of town, along a highway.

St. Lawrence had the pretty ghastly martyrdom of having been burned to death on an outdoor stove in 258, during which he supposedly said something to the effect that if he was already well roasted on one side, that they should flip him over.

This lovely little church commemorates these events pictorially using painted white-and-blue ceramic tile, covering the entire inside of the church. The effect is dramatic, and well worth the hefty 2 euro entrance fee.

The general church style is of the Baroque period, and dates to the 17th century, having been finished in 1730.