Lisbonâ€™s deceivingly rich SÃ£o Roque Church houses a museum of sacred art that reopened last week after about two years of renovation works. If youâ€™re in Lisbon between now and January 10th, be sure to take advantage of the free entrance, as from then on you will have to pay â‚¬2,50 (the church itself will continue to be free).
It now displays more than double of the pieces that it showed the past, for a total of around 350 works of art. The museum was created by the Jesuits in the 17th century, although it was only officially open to the public in 1905. Its collection is particularly strong on precious jewelry, and includes 17th century Flemish tapestry and various religious sculptures and paintings. Another highlight are the relics that are unique in the world, rivalled only by the massive collection in Spainâ€™s El Escorial.
The investment of 2-million euros in the renovation allowed to add a second floor and now includes a gift shop and a cafeteria. Youâ€™ll also now be able to see a cloister with bamboos recalling the influence the Orient had on the Jesuits.