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São Roque Church

Attractions Chiado Free
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Igreja de São Roque
@Júlio Marques
Igreja de São Roque
Igreja de São Roque

The Igreja de São Roque was built for the Jesuits with the assistance of Filippo Terzi on the site of an earlier chapel dedicated to São Roque (St Roch). Most of the single-nave structure was built between 1565 and 1573, although it was roofless for another decade. The ceiling is a wonder of sorts. The original architect had planned a vaulted roof, but in 1582 a decision was made to flatroof the space in wood, and sturdy timber from Prussia was richly painted. The paintings in the inner sacristy are worth seeing, but the main attraction is the side chapel dedicated to St John the Baptist: its lavish ivory, gold and lapis lazuli attests to Portugal's colonial wealth and extravagance. Built in Rome and shipped to Lisbon in 1749 after being blessed by the Pope, it took four years to reassemble, not least because of the detailed mosaic above the altar. The neighbouring museum contains items from the chapel, including Italian goldsmiths' work, paintings and richly embroidered vestments.


Venue name: São Roque Church
Address: Lg Trindade Coelho
Opening hours: Church (with break for mass 12.15pm Tue-Sat, 12.30pm Sun) Oct-Mar 2-6pm Mon; 9am-6pm Tue-Sun
Transport: Metro Baixa-Chiado. Bus 758
Price: Church free. Museum €2.50; €1.25 reductions; free under-15s & all Sun to 2pm
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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In every European city that I travel to, visiting a cathedral is a must. I'm always taken away by the architecture, the murals, and the stained glass. This was not a let-down in this aspects, and truly opened my eyes to the history of the Portuguese empire. It's not something we cover much in history classes and I wish I did! 

Every part of this cathedral was stunning. My favourite part was simply looking upwards. I find that it's such a forgotten part of religious sites, but the ceiling can also have a lot to offer in terms of beauty. I thought the best way to appreciate all aspects was by standing furthest away from the alter and looking down the aisle with a perspective shot. It incorporates the seating, the alter at the end and its stunning background, parts of the ceiling, and the columns down the aisle. 

Definitely worth a visit and it's good because it doesn't take long to look around and appreciate the art and culture inside.