The Church of São Francisco was built in the 14th century, during the reign of King D. Fernando, on the site of a modest church pertaining to the order of Franciscan Friars who had established a presence in the city of Oporto in 1223.
The layout of the Church follows the rules of the mendicant Gothic style – with three naves, a prominent transept and a tripartite top section, with a main chapel inside. Several innovative elements were introduced, such as the decoration of balls in the window slits of the main chapel.
In the 16th century, João de Castilho designed the chapel of São João Baptista, but it was only in the 18th-century that the main works were carried out, resulting in this magnificent Baroque church that has been preserved to the present day, and which appears to be covered in gold, due to the abundance of gilt-edged woodcarvings.
The woodcarvings inside the church include the notable altarpiece of the main chapel, dedicated to the Tree of Jessé, reformulated between 1718 and 1721 by Filipe da Silva and António Gomes.