Monastery of São Vicente de Fora


Monastery of São Vicente de Fora
The Monastery viewed from the Castle of São Jorge

The Church or Monastery of São Vicente de Fora; meaning "Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls" is a 17th century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon, in Portugal. It is one of the most important mannerist buildings in the country and also the burial site of most Portuguese Kings of the House of Braganza.

History and art

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

Main façade of the church of the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

Pantheon with the tombs of the House of Braganza inside the Monastery.

Braganza Pantheon

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.

All of the Braganza kings of Portugal are buried there, from John IV (1603-1656) to Manuel II (1889-1932), except for three:

Life-sized mourning statues stand by the tombs of King Carlos I and his heir, Prince Luís Filipe, who were assassinated in Lisbon in 1908 by radical Republicans.

References

  • Portuguese Institute for Architectural Heritage [1]
  • General Bureau for National Buildings and Monuments (Portugal) [2]

Coordinates: 38°42′53″N 9°07′40″W / 38.71472°N 9.12778°W / 38.71472; -9.12778


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Monastère de Saint-Vincent de Fora — Le monastère vu depuis le château de Saint Georges Présentation Nom local Igreja de São Vicente de Fora Protection …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jerónimos Monastery — Coordinates: 38°41′51.60″N 9°12′21.60″W / 38.697667°N 9.206°W / 38.697667; 9.206 …   Wikipedia

  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Salvador da Bahia — Archdiocese of São Salvador da Bahia Archidioecesis Sancti Salvatoris in Brasilia Cathedral Location …   Wikipedia

  • Monuments of Portugal — The Monuments of Portugal were constructed throughout the Portuguese territory, and date back to the period of pre historic settlement of occupation. Subsequently, the region that is today Portugal has been colonized by many civilizations, which… …   Wikipedia

  • Lisbon — For other uses, see Lisbon (disambiguation). Coordinates: 38°42′49.72″N 9°8′21.79″W / 38.7138111°N 9.1393861°W / 38.713811 …   Wikipedia

  • Manuel II of Portugal — Manuel II King of Portugal and the Algarves Reign 1 February 1908 4 October 1910 Predecessor Carlos I Successor …   Wikipedia

  • Miguel of Portugal — Miguel I King of Portugal and the Algarves Reign 26 February 1828 6 May 1834 Predecessor Maria II Successor …   Wikipedia

  • João Pedro Mouzinho de Albuquerque — (Lisbon, May 1736 ndash; Leiria, 1802 (some say ca/bef. 1815)) was a Portuguese nobleman.LifeA son of Pedro Mamede Mouzinho de Albuquerque and second wife Maria Micaela Tavares de Mesquita, he was baptized at the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora …   Wikipedia

  • Infante Manuel, Count of Ourém — The Infante Manuel, Count of Ourém, KGF (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐnuˈɛɫ]; Manuel José Francisco António Caetano Estêvão Bartolomeu; English: Emmanuel Joseph Francis Anthony Cajetan Stephen Bartholomew) (Lisbon, August 3, 1697 Quinta de… …   Wikipedia

  • Infanta Benedita of Portugal — Infanta Benedita Princess of Brazil Spouse Joseph, Prince of Beira Father Joseph I of Portugal Mother Infanta Mariana Victoria of Spain Born …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.