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.

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

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.

The painted ceiling of the entrance hall, a 1710 painting by Vincenzo Baccarelli.

On the rooftop.

The Royal Pantheon of the House of Braganza.

Inside the bell tower.

Looking east from the rooftop over the Tagus River.

The main entrance hall.

More blue and white glazed tiles line the walls of the cloisters around the courtyard.

An exhibit displaying the large college of Allegory Tiles, each one depicting a specific allegory.

Altar of the Chapel of St Anthony.

The cistern under the monastery, which was a source of fresh water.

Oddly, a few small rooms feature a display of a large number of shells.

The interior courtyard and cloisters.

Looking southeast from the rooftop.

What to Know Before You Go

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

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Travel Advice for Portugal

You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Portugal (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.

The British and Australian governments offer their own country-specific travel information. You can find the British Government's travel advice for Portugal here and the Australian Government's here.

Health & Vaccinations

The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Portugal here.

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