The Carmo Convert is one of the most stunning buildings in Lisbon. It was once a gothic church but was ruined by an earthquake in 1755 and is one of the only reminders of the 60,000 people who lost their lives during the worst earthquake in the city’s history. It is claimed to be one of the worst earthquakes throughout time as it was followed by days of tsunamis and fires which left 85% of the city destroyed.
Philosopher and writer, Voltaire, wrote a poem about the earthquake entitled ‘Poem on the Disaster in Lisbon’ after being angered about the earthquake being connoted to religious accusations of sin. “Did fallen Lisbon deeper drink of vice than London, Paris or sunlit Madrid?” the poem read.Today, the building, other than being in ruins, shows no sign of the earthquake centuries before. It has since been converted into a small archeological museum with a collection of tombs, ceramics and mosaics which are visited daily by hundreds of tourists.To avoid the crowds, go early in the morning or late as night when it’s closing. It is open 10am – 5pm daily.Towards the back of the museum there were some inside parts with tombs and preserved archeological artifacts. There is a ‘no pictures’ sign inside but luckily all of the more exciting, photo-worthy areas are outside with the ruins.I’d completely recommend Carmo Convert, especially if you’re interested in ruins or beautiful buildings. The museum itself is small and not the most interesting part of the building, but I would still recommend to get a taste of the real Lisbon and its history.