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  4. São Vicente de Fora

São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon

Photo © Fred Lopes. View all images in our São Vicente de Fora Photo Gallery.
Photo © Fred Lopes.
Photo © Fred Lopes.
Photo © Jaime Silva.
Photo © Jaime Silva.

Originally part of a monastery, the Renaissance Igreja de São Vicente de Fora (Church of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) in Lisbon is the pantheon of the last Portuguese monarchs.


The Monastery of St. Vincent was founded in the 12th century, but the present church was begun in 1582 by Italian architect Filippo Terzi (1520-97) and not completed until 1704. The dome crashed to the ground during the 1755 earthquake.

The House of Bragança assumed power in 1640, the first rulers of an independent Portugal, and reigned until 1910. All the members of the dynasty save two - Maria I and Pedro IV - were laid to rest in monumental tombs in the former refectory. Among them is Catherine of Bragança, who married King Charles II of England in 1661.

The last queen of Portugal, Amélia, died in 1951. She is buried here along with her husband Carlos I and her son Prince Luís Felipe, both of whom were killed by an assassin at Praça do Comércio in 1908.

What to See

St. Vincent's Church has an Italian Renaissance facade with twin towers and a spacious interior, with a barrel vault and a Renaissance dome over the crossing. The dome was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake toppled it.

Inside the church, items of interest besides the royal tombs include a medieval cistern and an unusual ivory statue of Jesus carved in 18th-century Goa, India (a former Portuguese colony). The cloisters are lined with pretty painted blue tiles depicting the fall of Lisbon to the Moors. It is possible to climb the towers for impressive views.

Quick Facts on São Vicente de Fora

Site Information
Names:Igreja de São Vicente; Mosteiro de São Vicente; São Vicente de Fora; São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon; St. Vincent Outside the Walls
Categories:Churches; Mausoleums
Faiths:Christianity; Catholic
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Lisbon, Portugal
Coordinates:38.714849° N, 9.127632° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of São Vicente de Fora

Below is a location map and aerial view of São Vicente de Fora. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. Mosteiro de São Vicente - Fodors.com (accessed April 2009)
  2. Igreja da São Vicente de Fora - Frommers.com (accessed April 2009)

More Information

Article Info

Title:São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:04/09/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/portugal/lisbon-sao-vicente-church/portugal/lisbon">São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon</a>