|Venue name:||Palácio da Assembléia da República|
Largo das Cortes, Rua de São Bento
|Opening hours:||Sessions from 3pm Wed, Thur; from 10am Fri. Guided visits 3pm, 4pm last Sat of mth|
|Transport:||Tram 25, 28. Bus 6, 713, 727, 773|
The imposing façade of the Palácio de São Bento seems as if it ought to face more than just a huddle of red-roofed neighbourhoods kept at bay by the stone lions at its entrance. Portugal's Assembly of the Republic is housed in this former monastery, the Mosteiro de São Bento (Saint Benedict), which was turned over to parliament in 1834 when religious orders were abolished. Major renovation work has left little evidence of the original late 16th-century structure, but the building contains notable artworks, especially the upstairs murals (1920-26) by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. Guided tours (1hr 30mins) take place once a month; book by noon the previous day by phone or email (email@example.com). When parliament is in session, you can also enter the viewing galleries (entrance on Praça de São Bento, to the right of the palace). Up the hill behind parliament is the prime minister's official residence.