I’m not a big pilgrim: I don’t take pilgrimages and to be honest, just visiting 2 churches in one week was a lot for me. That being said, the 2 churches (Clerigos and São Francisco) I visited were both totally worth it, even for a secular non-conformist. My Portuguese friend insisted on taking me to São Francisco on the last day of my visit.
The sense of history is palpable, especially when in the basement where centuries of the devote are buried right under your feet. The moment I realized we were in a crypt I was hit by The Fear: this was probably most evident in my eyes. The goldwork inside the church itself inspired a different emotion: I was in awe of the intricacy and imagination in the ornamenture.
The living history on hand in Porto’s churches cultivated within me a greater respect for the traditions of the Catholic Church in Portugal.