Igreja de São Roque

Lisbon, Portugal

The Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) in Lisbon was the earliest Jesuit church in the Portuguese world, and one of the first Jesuit churches anywhere. It served as the Society’s home church in Portugal for over 200 years, before the Jesuits were expelled from that country. After the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the church and its ancillary residence were given to the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (the Charity House of Lisbon) to replace their church and headquarters which had been destroyed. It remains a part of the Santa Casa today, one of its many heritage buildings.

The Igreja de São Roque was one of the few buildings in Lisbon to survive the earthquake relatively unscathed. When built in the 16th century it was the first Jesuit church designed in the “auditorium-church” style specifically for preaching. It contains a number of chapels, most in the Baroque style of the early 17th century. The most notable chapel is the 18th-century Chapel of St. John the Baptist, a project by Nicola Salvi and Luigi Vanvitelli constructed in Rome of many precious stones and disassembled, shipped and reconstructed in São Roque; at the time it was reportedly the most expensive chapel in Europe.

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Details

Founded: 1506
Category: Religious sites in Portugal

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

St Veo (19 months ago)
One of the nicest cathedrals I have ever been and I already so a lot. My absolute favorite. 5*
Mark McConachie (20 months ago)
The exterior gives away nothing of the riches that lie within. The interior is stunning, an absolute masterpiece on alter craftsmanship. And there are so many of them. My camera would not do them justice, you must visit to see. Highly recommended.
Mike Benson (21 months ago)
Arguably the best church in Lisbon. Not too overrun by tourists. Go by taxi as it's on a steep hill. See the church and then walk downhill to find a nice restaurant.
Aaron Wileman (21 months ago)
Beautiful church. Well worth a visit inside and taking your time to explore each of the altars. Is was decorated at Xmas with colourful paper birds which gave an even more splendid feel to the ambiance of it inside. Right in the middle of tourist areas this has not lost its charge and is still a great place for quiet and reflection
Thomas Ozbun (2 years ago)
One of the best churches in town (if not THE best). A baroque gem, with beautiful chapels all around. The most beautiful, dedicated to St John the Baptist, has some splendid marbles and was designed by two really famous italian architects to be built in Rome and was then brought by boat and rebuilt inside the church. Also noteworthy the beautiful Mannerist ceiling (a rarity in Portugal). It was interesting to learn that it was one of the first Jesuit churches in Portugal.
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