No other Lisbon museum so well conveys the sensation that you’ve wandered into a living relic. Here, the ruined nave of a gothic church, originally built in 1389, stands in a state of partial collapse—a victim of damages wrought during the earthquake of 1755 when many parishioners died inside. Some back rooms contain a dusty collection of exhibits, such as historic azulejos (glazed tiles), but the star of the museum is the church itself. Unlike several nearby monuments, the church was not rebuilt but somehow survived despite further indignities inflicted upon it over the years, including vandalism by French soldiers (occupying Lisbon during the Napoleonic wars). To many Lisboans, it’s the city’s most evocative monument; it aggressively piques their sense of history...and sense of loss.

In some seasons there are concerts and events set in the ruins. It’s also very close to the Santa Justa platform and set in a lovely square.