Saint Roch Church

Saint Roch Church is located in Lisboa Portugal and has a deceivingly plain exterior designed by Filippo Terzi. He also designed the Sao Vicente which lies just outside the Alfama quarter. The history of the church is intriguing. St Roch used to lie beyond the walls of Lisboa Portugal in the 16th century cut-off from the rest of the city. It acted as a burial ground for those killed off by the plague because of it’s isolated situation behind the great walls.

The chapel was originally designed and built in Rome in 1742. It took eight years for St. Roch to come to fruition. It was built from some of the most expensive materials found at the time such as alabaster, jade, agate, amethyst and marble. After being blessed by Pope Benedict XIV St. Roch was disassembled and shipped over to Lisbon in pieces.

Shipping the pieces of the Portugal church in it’s entirety cost a fortune but it managed to arrive safely and Saint Roch Church was re-assembled in 1747. The Museu de Sao Roque is adjacent to Saint Roch Church and contains odd chests, devotional items and paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Jesuit preferences are what kept the exterior of the church so plain but the interior is beautiful. When visitors enter the Portugal church there is a lot of space that is adorned with decorations in homage to royal patronage. There is a blend of tile paneling, gold leafing and marble that adds to the scenic impression. The works inside bear significant artistic value and quality such as the Conimbriga ruins do for the Romans. The interior is exceptionally defined when the careful interior lighting is turned on inside the Portugal church.

The paintings inside the Sao Roque were done circa 1588 by a Portugese artist by the name of Francisco Venegas. He was one of the first to ever attempt using an artistic technique called Majolica. Inside Sao Roque are the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist and the Altars of the Relics.

In Portugal’s history the company of Jesus was cast out from the country by command of the royals and Sao Roque was given to Misericórdia de Lisboa. In current day the Portugal church belongs to a religious charity foundation that also runs the museum adjacent to it. There is no cost to explore the church but the museum costs under two Euros. Sao Roque is open during weekdays from 8:30am to 5:00pm and on weekends from 9:30am to 5:00pm. If needing transportation to the site while in Lisboa Portugal the Baixa-Chiado line of the city metro will take you there.

When in Lisboa Portugal visiting Sao Roque plan some other things to do in the area and turn your visit into a full day trip. Pair a visit to the museum with a trip to explore the Tile Museum that is full of colorful, traditional tiles. Take a short walk over to Casa do Fado e da Guitarra Portuguesa, a museum where you can learn about the history of traditional Fado music.

After visiting the Portugal church and other sites in the morning, lunch is a great excuse to spend a couple of hours dining and relaxing. Taste some of the delicious Portugese cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the area. The Coaches Museum is also located in Lisboa Portugal and is a curious place that displays the most vast and valuable collection of coaches used to transport the Portugese elite. It’s housed in a royal riding school that is part of the lovely Belem Palace. Plan your days well and visit as many of the exciting attractions as possible!

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