OLIVENZA Holy House of Mercy


Fellowship was created the 20th of November 1501, with the mission of social assistance, in compliance with the founding impulse of Queen Doña Leonor. In 1520, the King ordered its transfer to the Hermitage of the Espíritu Santo, facing the Puerta de Los Angeles. In 1546 the house was already built (the marble door of its chapel is from this time), although the works continued throughout the same century, the church only reached its current appearance in 1723. Among its foundational purposes: hospital, reception and guardianship of foundlings, assistance to prisoners and convicts, burials and asylum, it currently maintains only the latter, with good facilities.


The entrance to the church is through a linteled door, made of marble in 1546, with Tuscan columns supporting a smooth entablature and a triangular pediment with the Portuguese national heraldry; it is topped by two armorial spheres at its lower corners and a cross at the top. Above the doorway, there is a rectangular window, crowned with a triangular pediment similar to that of the doorway. The front of the church culminates in a belfry.


The chapel, with only one nave, is entirely covered in baroque tiles by Manuel dos Santos, representing the feats of Misericórdia.

The interior of the temple, consisting of a single nave and barrel vault, has a high altar separated from the rest of the nave by a gate and three steps. At its foot stands the choir, resting on an arch supported by marble columns with Ionic capitals. Three altarpieces, of baroque style and Lusitanian taste complete the nave. The largest altarpiece follows the style of the Baroque altarpieces of the Janine period, that is, an expository altarpiece, highlighting the depth. The whole interior corresponds to a reform of the 18th century. The work is completed by two other side altarpieces, in the Baroque style, one dedicated to Pentecost, painted in 1777, and the other to Nuestra Señora de la Misericordia, unpainted, perfectly integrated into the tiles and placed at the same time.

This chapel of the Santa Casa de Misericordia surprises the visitor with its historic tilework from 1723. Its ceramics cover the whole nave and the choir, with panels by Manuel dos Santos. The panels of the high altar are of unknown author. The whole set reproduces the Obras de Misericordia (Works of Mercy) related to the foundational purposes of the institution. Among these, the panel corresponding to “Clothing the Naked” stands out because of the anachronistic motif depicting God giving Adam and Eve two 18th century jackets to cover themselves.


Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00-13:30 and 17:00-19:00

Sunday: 10:00-13:30

Monday: closed


Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00-13:30 and 16:00-18:00

Sunday: 10:00-13:30

Monday: closed


10, Calle Caridad


0034 924 490 370 / 0034 924 490 160