A cross at Rua Elias Garcia, which leads to the Matriz Chruch of Mertola (Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Anunciacao)

A cross at Rua Elias Garcia, which leads to the Matriz Chruch of Mertola (Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Anunciacao)

Exterior of the Matriz church in Mertola, originally a mosque built between 12th and 13th centuries

Exterior of the Matriz church in Mertola, originally a mosque built between 12th and 13th centuries

When I arrived at the door of the chuech, it was still closed so I decided to have a look around

When I arrived at the door of the chuech, it was still closed so I decided to have a look around

Main entrance of the church is designed in Renaissance style

Main entrance of the church is designed in Renaissance style

A sign at the wall next to the main door shows the mehrab of the old mosque

A sign at the wall next to the main door shows the mehrab of the old mosque

A wonderful view of the Mertola Castle, sitting above the town

A wonderful view of the Mertola Castle, sitting above the town

Mertola Castle seen from the Matriz Chruch (old Almohad Mosque)

Mertola Castle seen from the Matriz Chruch (old Almohad Mosque)

Looking downwards at Mertola town with the River Guadiana in the background

Looking downwards at Mertola town with the River Guadiana in the background

Mertola town seen from the Matriz Church

Mertola town seen from the Matriz Church

Looking back at the path where Rua Doutor Manuel Francisco Gomes and Rua Elias Garcia meet

Looking back at the path where Rua Doutor Manuel Francisco Gomes and Rua Elias Garcia meet

After the Christian conquest of the town, in 1238, the mosque was turned into a church

After the Christian conquest of the town, in 1238, the mosque was turned into a church

The decorations above the walls of this church are similar to those ones in the Great Mosque of Cordoba

The decorations above the walls of this church are similar to those ones in the Great Mosque of Cordoba

The bell tower of the church, once was a minaret of the mosque

The bell tower of the church, once was a minaret of the mosque

Looking at the bottom of the old minaret - in the beginning the architectonic structure was left unaltered

Looking at the bottom of the old minaret - in the beginning the architectonic structure was left unaltered

Church bells were added at the top of the old minaret

Church bells were added at the top of the old minaret

In the 16th century the church was partially remodelled, gaining Manueline vaulting with a new roof

In the 16th century the church was partially remodelled, gaining Manueline vaulting with a new roof

Walking to the side of the church wall - here, the muslim architecture is more visible

Walking to the side of the church wall - here, the muslim architecture is more visible

A small horseshoe shape door in the walls of the church is from the Muslim mosque

A small horseshoe shape door in the walls of the church is from the Muslim mosque

Various types of figures are carved in the Gothic portal (main entrance) of the church

Various types of figures are carved in the Gothic portal (main entrance) of the church

In contrast to the vaults and the external pinnacles from the Mudejar to the last Gothic, the main door of the church follows the models of the Italian Renaissance

In contrast to the vaults and the external pinnacles from the Mudejar to the last Gothic, the main door of the church follows the models of the Italian Renaissance

These figures at the entrance of the church stamp the authority that this building was now in Christian hands

These figures at the entrance of the church stamp the authority that this building was now in Christian hands

This church is famous because it was previously a mosque, one of the few that survived to the Reconquest

This church is famous because it was previously a mosque, one of the few that survived to the Reconquest

This old mosque is the only one in Portugal which have survived to this day

This old mosque is the only one in Portugal which have survived to this day

Ceiling of the church is whitewashed and it offers a unique insight into this interesting building

Ceiling of the church is whitewashed and it offers a unique insight into this interesting building

A small capital like structure added to the walls of the church

A small capital like structure added to the walls of the church

This is one of the two capitals used from the Almohad mosque

This is one of the two capitals used from the Almohad mosque

This horseshoe arch is unmistakably islamic in style, probably it had survived the architectural changes

This horseshoe arch is unmistakably islamic in style, probably it had survived the architectural changes

Looking at the ceiling of the church from the horseshoe arch inside the church

Looking at the ceiling of the church from the horseshoe arch inside the church

Ceiling of the church seen from inside - the two capitals in the foreground are from the Muslim mosque

Ceiling of the church seen from inside - the two capitals in the foreground are from the Muslim mosque

Main altar of the church is placed in front of the mehrab

Main altar of the church is placed in front of the mehrab

Surprisingly, the mehrab of the mosuqe has survived to this day

Surprisingly, the mehrab of the mosuqe has survived to this day

Looking at the area (ceiling) above the mehrab

Looking at the area (ceiling) above the mehrab

Upper section of the mehrab which was once a part of the Almohad mosque

Upper section of the mehrab which was once a part of the Almohad mosque

Middle section of the mehrab, though plaster is in bad shape but it still retains its original look

Middle section of the mehrab, though plaster is in bad shape but it still retains its original look

Bottom of the mehrab was dug up (probably, for the renovation work or something)

Bottom of the mehrab was dug up (probably, for the renovation work or something)

Bricks were left inside the pit, created at the bottom of the mehrab

Bricks were left inside the pit, created at the bottom of the mehrab

Old floral motifs and pillars next to the mehrab, I am sure this section has few extra layers added over the time

Old floral motifs and pillars next to the mehrab, I am sure this section has few extra layers added over the time

Above the decorative mehrab, cement is used to give the look of a mehrab

Above the decorative mehrab, cement is used to give the look of a mehrab

Looking at the details of the mehrab ( I am sure to say that this old mosque is one of the best preserved in whole Portugal)

Looking at the details of the mehrab ( I am sure to say that this old mosque is one of the best preserved in whole Portugal)

Looking back at th entrance door from the oppsite side of the church

Looking back at th entrance door from the oppsite side of the church

A new roof and main portal in Renaissance style was added but interior resemble strongly to a mosque

A new roof and main portal in Renaissance style was added but interior resemble strongly to a mosque

The inner arrangement of the naves of the church, with four naves and several columns creates a forest full of beauty

The inner arrangement of the naves of the church, with four naves and several columns creates a forest full of beauty

Around this column, a bowl like structure is added to keep the holy water

Around this column, a bowl like structure is added to keep the holy water

In front of the church, many grave stones are laid probably they were brought from inside the church

In front of the church, many grave stones are laid probably they were brought from inside the church

A closer look at some of the grave stones, once they were placed inside the church

A closer look at some of the grave stones, once they were placed inside the church

A side view of the Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Anunciação, while climbing up

A side view of the Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Anunciação, while climbing up

A wonderful view of the Matriz church, taken while standing in from of the Mertola Castle

A wonderful view of the Matriz church, taken while standing in from of the Mertola Castle

This is one of favourite clicks of the chuch/mosque

This is one of favourite clicks of the chuch/mosque