Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora

The Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora is a 17th-century monastery that features impressive polychromatic marble and the tomb of several Portuguese kings.

Sacristy of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
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The Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora is one of the ornate white buildings that you can see clearly from the ramparts of Saint George Castle.

The present monastery dates back to the 17th century, although the original church on the site goes much further, to the 12th century.

There are two main highlights. One is the exceptionally ornate sacristy, which features many different colored marbles (known as polychrome marble) to create ornately decorated walls that rise to an equally ornate painted ceiling.

The other popular highlight is the Braganza Pantheon, which is where the Portuguese kings of the House of Braganza are entombed.

Photos of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora

Entrance Hall of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
More polychromatic marble used in the floor of the main entrance hall. The walls have blue and white glazed tiles that tell the history of the monastery and the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Entrance Hall of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
The painted ceiling of the entrance hall, a 1710 painting by Vincenzo Baccarelli. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Rooftop of Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
On the rooftop. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Pantheon of the House of Braganca at the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
The Royal Pantheon of the House of Braganza. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Bell Tower of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Inside the bell tower. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Facade of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
View from the Rooftop of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Looking east from the rooftop over the Tagus River. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Entrance Hall of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
The main entrance hall. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Chapel of the Meninos de Palhava Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cloisters of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
More blue and white glazed tiles line the walls of the cloisters around the courtyard. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Chapel of the Meninos de Palhava Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Pantheon of the Patriarchs of Lisbon at the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Allegory Tiles at the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
An exhibit displaying the large college of Allegory Tiles, each one depicting a specific allegory. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Chapel of St Anthony at the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Altar of the Chapel of St Anthony. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cisteren Under the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
The cistern under the monastery, which was a source of fresh water. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Shells Exhibit at the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Quirkily, a few small rooms feature a display of a large number of shells. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cloisters of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
The interior courtyard and cloisters. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Chapel of the Meninos de Palhava Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Rooftop of Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal
Looking southeast from the rooftop. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com

What to Know Before You Go

You can access the rooftop for some wonderful views out of the city and Tagus River.

Where to Next?

David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »