Legend has it that in the place where the Igreja de São Lourenço was built, one could hear the constant singing of the crickets. For this reason, the church is still known today as the Church of the Crickets.
The legend, which has long been known in the city, tells that the Jesuit temple was built in the place where the gardens of the Bishop of Porto, who donated these lands to the Society of Jesus, existed. A place that, due to its abundance of these singing insects, was known as the Campo dos Grilos (Field of the Crickets). Thus, the Porto residents never adopted the official designation of Igreja de São Lourenço and since it was built in the sixteenth century, this temple was always known as … Igreja dos Grilos (Church of the Crickets).
Another explanation, more based on historical facts, is related to the expulsion of the Jesuits from the country in 1759. The church and college belonged to the University of Coimbra, which eventually sold the buildings to the congregation of the Agostinhos Descalços, also known as “Cricket Fathers” since their headquarters was on the Calçada do Grilo (Curbside of the Cricket).
The history of the name may not be consensual, but the imposing facade and the richness of its interior justify a visit.
Source: O Tripeiro 7ª Série Ano XXXIV number 5 – May 2015