For years, shipping was very important for Portugal in general and especially for Lisbon. So important that one of the largest churches in the city is named after the patron saint of sailors: Igreja de São Vicente de Fora.
São Vicente de Fora is a church with an adjacent monastery that is defining for the cityscape of Lisbon. During the earthquake of 1755 the building was badly damaged and it took almost a century before the convent and the church were restored to its present state.
If you are only a few days in Lisbon and you want to make the most of the time, skip the church and go straight to the monastery. Here a pantheon was built especially for the last royal rulers of Portugal – the Bragança family.
The monastery is beautifully decorated with hand-painted blue and white Azulejos (typical Portuguese tiles), which show the story of St. Vincent. You can visit the large white bell towers that you can not miss when standing in front of the church.
This is quite exciting because the stairs that bring you up are very narrow. Many people somehow choose not to go there so it’s pretty quiet.
View of the Tagus
From the roof there is a beautiful view over the Tagus and Alfama, also the pantheon which is just a stone’s throw from the roof. Do not forget to look at the layout of the roof with the pillars and fences, it looks enchanting.
If you visit São Vicente de Fora with children that are still in a stroller, you have to lift the stroller to get into the church. Unfortunately, there is no easy entrance for wheelchairs and / or strollers. But to be honest the stairs seem higher than they really are.
How to get to Igreja de São Vicente de Fora
The church and monastery are located near the tram 28 stop.
Address: Largo de São Vicente
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 – 12:30 and 15:00 – 17:00