Nicodemus Tessins design

Mälsåker Castle

The history of Mälsåker palace stretches back to the Middle Ages when it probably was a simple stone house. During Sweden’s period as a great power in Europe in the 17th century the palace was owned by the Soop family. The famous architect Nikodemus Tessin was engaged to alter the building into one of the grandest baroque palaces in Sweden. The house was extended, wings and a terrace with stairs facing th ...
Founded: 1660s | Location: Strängnäs, Sweden

Vällinge Chapel

The Vällinge chapel, completed in 1679, was a former church of the local ironworks. The Baroque-style chapel was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger.
Founded: 1679 | Location: Salem, Sweden

Steninge Palace

The Baroque-style Steninge Palace was built 1694-1698 to the design of architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, the palace is directly inspired by Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in France, and has a reputation in Sweden as one of the most elegant examples of Baroque mansions. Steninge Palace was completed in 1705. The history of Steninge began in the end of 1200’s when the first known settlement was established. I ...
Founded: 1680-1705 | Location: Märsta, Sweden

Gripenberg Castle

Gripenberg Castle (Gripenbergs slott) is a wooden manor house. It is considered to be the biggest wooden castle in Sweden and one of the oldest that remain today as well. The castle was built in 1663 as a huntig seat for the field marshal Carl Gustaf Wrangel. Its architect is unknown, but there is some reason to believe, that it might have been Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. It is assumed that the castle"s name is deri ...
Founded: 1663 | Location: Tranås, Sweden

King Charles' Church

Karl (Charles) XI is perhaps the Swedish king that most enjoyed spending time in Kungsör and he had this church built for the Royal Manor. It took from 1690 to 1700 to build the church but unfortunately the king never saw it when it was finished. He died in 1697 when a lot of work remained to be done on the interior. To mark the bicentennial of his death, a large gilded copper crown was mounted on the church dome in ...
Founded: 1690-1700 | Location: Kungsör, Sweden

Kaggeholm Castle

The site where Kaggeholm Palace is located was first mentioned in a document in 1287. During the 1500s the farm was owned by members of the families Grip and Bååt. The farm was originally called Vettersjö, but was named by Swedish Count Lars Kagg (1595-1661) who bought the manor during 1647. Kagg was a political ally of King Gustavus Adolphus, a member of the Privy Council of Sweden and Field Marshal duri ...
Founded: 1725 | Location: Ekerö, Sweden

Clausholm Castle

Clausholm Castle is one of Denmark's finest Baroque buildings. The castle's origins appear to go back to the 12th century but it is first mentioned in the 14th century when its owner, Lage Ovesen, was one of the leaders of the Jute uprising against Valdemar Atterdag. At the time, Clausholm was a four-winged building surrounded by a moat. But when the first Danish primeminister, Grand Chancellor Conrad von Reventlow, acqui ...
Founded: 1690s | Location: Hadsten, Denmark

Kägleholm Castle Ruins

Kägleholm Castle was Built in the 1670s by chancellor Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie. It was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. History of the castle is short, since in 1712 it burned down and was never rebuilt. Today only cellar ruins remain of the castle.
Founded: 1670s | Location: Örebro, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.