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Taken on a glorious warm and sunny afternoon in Praia da Luz, this is the Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Luz (or Church of Our Lady of Light), probably the most beautiful building in this Western Algarve tourist resort. This is the west façade of the church.

The story goes that in the early 16th Century the sailors of a certain Portuguese ship were lost and in peril one dark and stormy night and could not find a safe landing place. After offering up prayers, they beheld a light and decided to follow it. The light guided them to a safe piece of coast where they made a landing and were saved. The light immediately disappeared and its origin could not be found but they gave thanks to their mysterious "Lady of the Light" and a church was built near their landing place around 1520.

The original church suffered severely in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, one of the deadliest earthquakes in history which not only caused massive damage and casualties throughout Portugal but also gave rise to a tsunami which caused damage in north Africa and other parts of Europe and was seen in areas as far removed as Greenland and the Caribbean.

This little church was rebuilt in 1874 via local contributions yet it has suffered from further, more minor, damage in the 20th Century from a severe storm and an earthquake in 1969.

Sadly, only a few hundred metres from this church are the Ocean Club apartments from which the little girl, Madeleine McCann, tragically disappeared on 3rd May, 2007. Members of the McCann family have frequently worshipped at this little church.

You can see how close this church is to the sea if you look at this map and drag the little yellow man down to the red cross and pan around.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1781 W: 411 N: 6453] (26148)
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