The Museu de São Roque is housed immediately adjacent to Lisbon’s impressive Igreja de São Roque.
The core of the museum is divided into five permanent exhibits.
History of Igreja de São Roque
This section displays 16th-century art and artifacts related to the life and legend of Sao Roque (St Roch), best known concerning protection from the plaque. There are also artifacts relating to the original chapel on the site that predated the current church.
Chapel of Saint John the Baptist
With its endlessly ornate Baroque decoration, the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist, is a highlight of the church next door. Artifacts in this exhibit include models of the chapel, an alternate front altar, and various ceremonial items used in the chapel at one time or another.
Society of Jesus
The Igreja de São Roque played a very influential role as Portugal’s first Jesuit church and one of the first in Christendom. This section of the museum documents the Society’s two hundred years at the church. It’s divided into several sections, including iconography and liturgical items.
This exhibition focuses on art collected since the arrival of Vasco da Gama in India in 1498. It’s grouped by geographical area. The church’s Jesuits collected most of the items originally.
Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa
This small exhibit focuses on historical artifacts of the Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa, or Holy House of Mercy, an independent charity established by Queen Leanor of Portugal in 1498. It is reputed to be the oldest working NGO in the world.
Photos from the Museu de São Roque
I have more photos from Museu de São Roque here.
What To Know Before You Go
- The museum and church are in the Bairro Alto neighborhood at Largo Trindade Coelho.
- The museum is attached to the Igreja de São Roque, and you can enter directly from a door in the side of the church’s nave or through a front entrance onto the square out the front.
- There is a model entry fee for the museum (not for the church) of 2.50 € for general admission. It’s free entry on Sundays before 2 pm. (More details)
- Guided tours are available by appointment. Email the Museum in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange one.
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