Tree of Jesse - Igreja de São Francisco - Porto

Tree of Jesse - Igreja de São Francisco - Porto

The interior of the Igreja de São Francisco in Porto is well known for its extravagant display of Baroque wood carvings smothered in gold leaf. The sheer amount of decor is fairly overwhelming and it is difficult to know where to look. However, if there is one highlight to pick out then it has to be 'The Tree of Jesse'

Carved between 1718 and 1721 by Filipe da Silva and Antonio Gomes this masterpiece of gilded and painted wood is quite stunning. The tree illustrates the genealogy of Christ and his descent from the 12 Kings of Judah. At the time it was not unusual for this to be displayed as an actual tree and this sculpture is no exception.

The tree traces Jesus' family line back through Joseph to King David and his father, Jesse of Bethlehem. Christ sits at the top of the tree flanked by Mary and Joseph. On the lower branches are ancestors such as King Solomon.


Porto travel guide »

Porto is considered the capital of the north and as the second largest city in Portugal, rightfully so. There are really very few similarities between Porto and Lisbon – they are both near the coast, on the banks of large rivers and...