Almost no one knows that Saint Vincent is the patron saint of Lisbon since 1173, because the main festivities of the city are dedicated to one of the most famous “lisboetas”: Saint Anthony. Because of this, some may think, the Church and Monastery of Saint Vincent is also forgotten most of the time.
The church was finished in 1627 by order of the king Filipe I and the design of Baltazar Álvares, Flilippo Terzi and Juan de Herrera but some parts of the monastery remains from the XII century. History says that the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, brought the relics of Saint Vincent from Algarve to Lisbon and decided to build a chapel on the hill where he camped before conquering the city to the moors.
Nowadays, it’s better known as Church and Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (outsider Saint Vincent’s) because it was the first church built outside the walls of Lisbon and because Saint Vincent was born in Spain, outside Portugal! If you walk around the Monastery you’ll see the Pantheon of the last Portuguese dynasty, the Braganza, at the old refectory.
Well, just because of the history of this monument, I would add it to my “should visit list”. But to be an even more attractive place, the cloisters are decorated by a set of 81 panels of tiles from the XVIII century that represent landscapes, pastoral scenes, hunting, court and maritime images. It is actually the largest collection in the world of Baroque tiles assembled in one building! If you visited Lisbon before, you probably remember seeing many many tiles everywhere… but these tiles my friend, show you the fables of La Fontaine!
If this visit wasn’t enough for you, go to the rooftop of the church and enjoy the view of the Tagus river and part of the city at of one of the 7 hills of Lisbon.
Believe me, the only ones with a better view would be the seagulls flying around you.