A sign for Rua da Matriz, a church with the same name is located at the end of this street

A sign for Rua da Matriz, a church with the same name is located at the end of this street

Exterior of of the Matriz Church in Loule, in the past (during Arab period) this city was known as al-Olya or al-Ulya

Exterior of of the Matriz Church in Loule, in the past (during Arab period) this city was known as al-Olya or al-Ulya

Bell tower of the Matriz church, this church is also known as the Church of Sao Clemente

Bell tower of the Matriz church, this church is also known as the Church of Sao Clemente

The bell tower tower belongs to a Muslim mosque which existed here before the construction of this church

The bell tower tower belongs to a Muslim mosque which existed here before the construction of this church

Upper section of this old minaret is decorated in baroque style to suit its current use

Upper section of this old minaret is decorated in baroque style to suit its current use

Exterior of this church is whitewashed which blends nicely with the surrounding buildings

Exterior of this church is whitewashed which blends nicely with the surrounding buildings

A cross is created on one of the external walls of the church

A cross is created on one of the external walls of the church

In one corner of the church (close to the main door) a column is inserted but there are no details about the origin of this column

In one corner of the church (close to the main door) a column is inserted but there are no details about the origin of this column

This 13th century church stands at the site of an old mosque and it is designed in the Gothic style

This 13th century church stands at the site of an old mosque and it is designed in the Gothic style

Main door of the church

Main door of the church

There was another door located to the side of the church which was also used to get access to the building

There was another door located to the side of the church which was also used to get access to the building

Interior of the Matriz Church and its arches are unmistakably oriental in style

Interior of the Matriz Church and its arches are unmistakably oriental in style

One theory suggests that some of the Muslim craftsmen were used to build this church in the 13th century

One theory suggests that some of the Muslim craftsmen were used to build this church in the 13th century

Wooden ceiling of the church

Wooden ceiling of the church

The capitals are decorated with sculpted leaves that may be the work of Muslim artists

The capitals are decorated with sculpted leaves that may be the work of Muslim artists

Most of the capitals in the western world churches are decorated with animals or human figures

Most of the capitals in the western world churches are decorated with animals or human figures

But floral decorations of the Matriz Church are slightly deifferent than those in Spain and Portugal

But floral decorations of the Matriz Church are slightly deifferent than those in Spain and Portugal

The columns of this church are at different heights which may point out that they were taken from an old mosque

The columns of this church are at different heights which may point out that they were taken from an old mosque

Blue tiles are used to enhance the beauty of the exterior

Blue tiles are used to enhance the beauty of the exterior

This church went under restorations in the 16th and 18th centuries

This church went under restorations in the 16th and 18th centuries

Opposite to the Matriz Church is the Garden of the Skulls (Jardim dos Amuados)

Opposite to the Matriz Church is the Garden of the Skulls (Jardim dos Amuados)

The name of the garden refers to an old Arab cemetery which used to exist here

The name of the garden refers to an old Arab cemetery which used to exist here

The entrance of the garden is located exactly opposite the church

The entrance of the garden is located exactly opposite the church

The current garden was built in the second half of the 19th century

The current garden was built in the second half of the 19th century

In 1883, one meter high wall was built to protect this garden

In 1883, one meter high wall was built to protect this garden

Trees were planted to make this small garden more appealing but there could be some bones underneath the surface of this garden

Trees were planted to make this small garden more appealing but there could be some bones underneath the surface of this garden

The Garden of Skulls marked the western boundary of Loule in the past

The Garden of Skulls marked the western boundary of Loule in the past

A closer look at one of the walls of the garden

A closer look at one of the walls of the garden

In the past, there were few houses used to exist here but they removed to make space for this garden

In the past, there were few houses used to exist here but they removed to make space for this garden

The garden sits on a higher ground and it offers a beautiful view over the city

The garden sits on a higher ground and it offers a beautiful view over the city

The Garden of Skulls is a peaceful and quiet place and I spared few thoughts for those souls whose remains were buried here

The Garden of Skulls is a peaceful and quiet place and I spared few thoughts for those souls whose remains were buried here