SAO ROQUE CHURCH AND MUSEUM
Home of the world's most expensive chapel
The church with the plainest façade in Lisbon has one of the city's richest
Each of the chapels is a masterpiece of Baroque art but the showpiece is the
fourth one on the left, the "world's most expensive chapel."
Designed in Rome using the most costly materials available, including ivory, agate, porphyry, lapis lazulli, gold and silver, it was blessed by the Pope and shipped to Lisbon in 1747. Of note is also the chapel's "paintings," which are not paintings but extraordinarily detailed mosaics, and the ceiling painted with scenes of the Apocalypse. Today this chapel is considered a masterpiece of European art.
Adjoining the church is a Museum of Sacred Art, containing 16th century Portuguese paintings (including one of Catherine of Austria, and another of the wedding ceremony of King Manuel I), a display of vestments, and an impressive collection of baroque silver. A highlight is a pair of bronze-and-silver torch holders, weighing about 840 pounds, among the most elaborate in Europe.
Following a makeover in 2006, the museum reopened in December of 2008 with additional pieces and exhibition space, and including a gift shop and a cafeteria.
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How to Visit
Where: Largo Trindade Coelho, Bairro Alto
How: Metro - Baixa-Chiado Station
When: 10AM-5PM (Closed Mondays)
de São Pedro de Alcântara - A garden with a panoramic view over the city.
Camões Square - A busy square and meeting place between Chiado and Bairro Alto.
Principe Real - Charming leafy square.
Botanical Garden - An enchanting botanical garden.