Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora

Alfama, Castelo & Graça

Graça’s Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora was founded in 1147 and revamped by Italian architect Felipe Terzi in the late 16th century. Since the adjacent church took the brunt of the 1755 earthquake (the church's dome crashed through the ceiling of the sacristy, but emerged otherwise unscathed), elaborate blue-and-white azulejos dance across almost every wall, echoing the building's architectural curves.

On the 1st floor you’ll find a one-off collection of panels depicting La Fontaine’s moral tales of sly foxes and greedy wolves. Under the marble sacristy lie graves of Moorish-era lisboêta Christians. Seek out the weeping, cloaked woman holding stony vigil in the eerie mausoleum, which houses the lion's share of the tombs of Portugal's last kings. Enjoy the serene and gorgeous atmosphere throughout – there are more azulejos here than in the Museu Nacional do Azulejo – and have your camera handy for the superb views from the tower. Multilingual guided tours run at 11am and 3pm every day except Sunday.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Alfama, Castelo & Graça attractions

1. Panteão Nacional

0.16 MILES

Perched high and mighty above Graça’s Campo de Santa Clara, the porcelain-white Panteão Nacional is a baroque beauty. Originally intended as a church, it…

2. Alfama

0.23 MILES

Wander downhill (to save your legs) through Alfama's steep, narrow, cobblestoned streets and catch a glimpse of the more traditional side of Lisbon before…

3. Largo das Portas do Sol

0.23 MILES

This original Moorish gateway affords stunning angles over Alfama’s jumble of red rooftops and pastel-coloured houses, underscored by the true blue Rio…

4. Miradouro da Graça

0.24 MILES

A much-loved summertime hang-out of lisboêtas, this miradouro (lookout) sidles up to the baroque Igreja da Graça. It has an incredible view of the castle…

5. Museu de Artes Decorativas

0.24 MILES

Set in a petite 17th-century palace, this museum creaks under the weight of treasures including blingy French silverware, priceless Qing vases and Indo…

6. Museu do Fado

0.24 MILES

Fado (traditional Portuguese melancholic song) was born in Alfama. Immerse yourself in its bittersweet symphonies at Museu do Fado. This engaging museum…

7. Miradouro de Santa Luzia

0.26 MILES

From bougainvillea-clad Miradouro de Santa Luzia, your gaze drifts over a mosaic of rooftops and spires to the river below.

8. Jardim da Cerca da Graça

0.31 MILES

Closed for centuries, this 1.7-hectare green space opened again in 2015 and is Lisbon's second-biggest park, offering a lush transition between the…