São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon

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.

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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

Site Information
Names:Igreja de São Vicente · Mosteiro de São Vicente · São Vicente de Fora · St. Vincent Outside the Walls
Country:Portugal
Categories:churches; mausolea
Dedication: St. Vincent
Dates:1582-1704
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:38.714849° N, 9.127632° W
Address:Largo de São Vicente
Lisbon, Portugal
Phone:21/882-44-00
Hours:Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
Sun 9am-12:30pm and 3-5pm
Lodging:View hotels near São Vicente de Fora
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

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

More Information

© Fred Lopes
© Fred Lopes
© Jaime Silva
© Jaime Silva

Map of São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon

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