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.
History of São Vicente de Fora
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 at São Vicente de Fora
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
|Names:||Igreja de São Vicente · Mosteiro de São Vicente · São Vicente de Fora · St. Vincent Outside the Walls|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||38.714849° N, 9.127632° W|
|Address:||Largo de São Vicente|
Sun 9am-12:30pm and 3-5pm
|Lodging:||View hotels near São Vicente de Fora|
- Mosteiro de São Vicente - Fodors.com (accessed April 2009)
- Igreja da São Vicente de Fora - Frommers.com (accessed April 2009)
Map of São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon
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.