Our Lady of Mercy Church Arouca Portugal

Igreja da Misericórdia de Arouca
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Our Lady of Mercy Church Arouca Portugal
– Sometimes, the beauty of something lies in its simple details.

Take for instance, Our Lady of Mercy Church in Arouca, Portugal. At first glance, you see a quaint and pretty 16th century church not unlike other ones you’d find throughout the country. In fact, this example of religious architecture is often overlooked as most people head over to the grand and rather ostentatious Santa Maria de Arouca Monastery instead.

Recommended reading: Read about another church I checked out while I was in Italy, as it’s said to be the scariest cathedral in the world – Weird and Offbeat Sites: The Skull Cathedral in Otranto.

Our Lady of Mercy Church Arouca Portugal

Those who skip seeing Our Lady of Mercy Church (Igreja da Misericórdia in Portuguese) are missing out. Just look at what you see when you step inside.

Igreja da Misericórdia de AroucaIgreja da Misericórdia de Arouca
It’s hard not to be overwhelmed when you first walk into this church. So much is happening all at once: the tile mosaics, the paintings, the bright colours, the geometric patterns. Where do you start? What do you look at first?

You’ll need a moment to take it all in but once you do, you’ll start to appreciate the details and want to linger for a while.

Igreja da Misericórdia de Arouca
Looking up at the ceiling, there are several paintings of biblical scenes depicting the Passion.

Igreja da Misericórdia de Arouca
Some bright floral patterns etched onto aged wood.

Igreja da Misericórdia de AroucaIgreja da Misericórdia de AroucaIgreja da Misericórdia de Arouca

Moorish influences pervade in the intricate tile work – even in a Christian church.

Igreja da Misericórdia de AroucaIgreja da Misericórdia de Arouca
As I mentioned in my previous food-filled post about Restaurant Casa No Campo, Arouca is worth a visit should you be staying in Porto – it’s only about a one-hour drive away from the city. Just think about how you can have a delicious Portuguese dinner that will require you to break out those buffet pants you secretly own! You can then walk it off by going for a hike at the nearby Geopark and touring the town’s religious monuments like Our Lady of Mercy Church.

Have you been to any interesting cathedrals or churches around the world? Let us know in the comments below, as we’d love to hear your stories. 

Good to Know

cherylhoward.com Newsletter1) Book a tour when you’re in Portugal:


2) Book a hotel when you’re in Portugal:


3) Make your trip to Portugal an epic road trip and book a car rental.

4) Looking for more Portugal content. Check my archives or some of my favourite posts:

💖 Riding A Motorcycle (And Sidecar) Through Lisbon – Be a bad ass wild child and race through the streets of Lisbon by taking a motorcycle and sidecar tour through the city.

💖 Beautiful and Quirky Sintra, Portugal – Sintra, Portugal is a UNESCO World Heritage site full of stunning Portuguese castles, gardens and palatial villas. It also has a surprising quirky side!

💖 Restaurant Casa do Alentejo in Lisbon, Portugal – Restaurant Casa do Alentejo in Lisbon, Portugal is situated in a former 17th century Moorish palace. See photos of the beautiful exterior and interiors.


I was unable to find an exact address, so I used the one for the monastery instead but it’s fairly close and no more than a 2-3 minute walk from there.

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Our Lady of Mercy Church
*Disclosure – My time in Arouca was complimentary, courtesy of Porto and the North. Any opinions expressed about my love for tiny churches big on details are entirely my own. This post also contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour, car rental, or hotel through any of these links, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Founder of cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. Thanks for your kind comments Nancy! Once in Europe, it’s actually easy to grow tired of seeing all of these churches but I found something quite special about this one and it’s always stuck out in my mind.

  2. Devlin, ha ha! You’re very right. There’s a lot happening all at once. I think the quirkiness of this particular church is what attracts me to liking it so much.

  3. There is definitely a lot going on it that church. It looks beautiful though. The tile work really surprised me in Portugal.

  4. Yes, the church is gorgeous and quite the find. I’m so happy to have had that experience. The tile work found all over Portugal is exquisite, there’s even a tile museum in Lisbon!

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