In the 18th century, the religious brotherhood of the “poor clerics” (“Clérigos pobres” in Portuguese) received the donation of a vast plot of land in the center of Porto and entrusted Italian architect Niccoló Nasoni with the construction of a church In the city center. Construction work on the Clerigos Church (Igreja dos Clérigos) began in 1735 and ended in 1748. But the brotherhood’s projects did not end there. Two years later, in 1750, the clerics asked Niccoló Nasoni to build two monumental towers adjoining the church, modeled on Tuscan bell towers.
Only one of the two towers was ultimately erected. Completed in 1763, the 75.60-meter-high Clerigos Tower (Torre dos Clerigos) is the highest tower in Portugal. It even guided the ships returning to the port of Porto, much like a lighthouse. Classified as a “national monument” since 1910, the Clérigos Church is a vast religious complex built in the Italian Baroque style comprising: the Clerigos Church, the Clerigos Tower and the House of the Brotherhood Clérigos Pobres (Poor Clerics), which now houses the Clerigos Museum