The National Pantheon of Santa Engracia, also known as the Church of Santa Engracia, is a beautiful Baroque church located in Lisbon, Portugal. It was built in the 17th century, and it is the final resting place for some of Portugal's most famous historical figures.
If you're planning a trip to Lisbon, a visit to the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia should be high on your list of things to do. In this long read travel guide, we'll explore the history of the church, its architecture, and the famous people who are buried there.
History of the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia
The National Pantheon of Santa Engracia has a long and fascinating history. The original church on the site was built in the 16th century, but it was destroyed in an earthquake in 1681. The current church was built on the same site, but it took over three centuries to complete.
Construction of the church began in 1682, and it was designed by architect João Antunes. However, after Antunes died in 1712, the project was put on hold. It wasn't until the 20th century that work on the church resumed, and it wasn't completed until 1966.
During its long construction period, the church was used for a variety of purposes. At one point, it was used as a barracks, and at another point, it was used as a warehouse. It wasn't until the 20th century that the Portuguese government decided to turn it into a national pantheon.
Architecture of the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia
The National Pantheon of Santa Engracia is a stunning example of Baroque architecture. It features a large dome that dominates the skyline of Lisbon. The dome is made of wood and covered with tiles, and it is one of the largest domes in the world.
The interior of the church is equally impressive. It features beautiful frescoes and intricate carvings. The main altar is particularly impressive, with its ornate decorations and beautiful gold leaf.
One of the most interesting features of the church is the crypt, which is located beneath the main altar. The crypt is the final resting place for many of Portugal's most famous historical figures.
Famous People Buried in the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia
The National Pantheon of Santa Engracia is the final resting place for some of Portugal's most famous historical figures. Here are just a few of the people who are buried there:
Vasco da Gama - Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer who is best known for his role in opening up a sea route to India.
Luís de Camões - Luís de Camões was a poet and author who is considered one of Portugal's greatest literary figures.
Amália Rodrigues - Amália Rodrigues was a singer and actress who is known as the "Queen of Fado."
Humberto Delgado - Humberto Delgado was a politician and military officer who was assassinated by the Portuguese secret police in 1965.
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira - Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, commonly known as Eusébio, was a footballer who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
Visiting the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia
If you're planning a trip to Lisbon, visiting the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia should be high on your list of things to do. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit:
- Plan your visit in advance - The church can get busy, especially during peak tourist season, so it's a good idea to plan your visit in advance. You can buy tickets online or at the ticket office on the day of your visit.
Dress appropriately - The National Pantheon of Santa Engracia is a church, so you should dress appropriately. This means no shorts, tank tops, or revealing clothing. If you're not sure what to wear, it's always better to err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively.
Take your time - There is a lot to see at the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia, so take your time and explore the church at your own pace. Be sure to check out the crypt, which is located beneath the main altar.
Guided tours - If you want to learn more about the history of the church and the famous people buried there, consider taking a guided tour. Guided tours are available in multiple languages, and they can be a great way to learn more about the church.
Photography - Photography is allowed inside the church, but be respectful of others and do not use a flash. It's also a good idea to check with staff before taking photographs, as some areas of the church may be off-limits.
The National Pantheon of Santa Engracia is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Lisbon. Its stunning Baroque architecture and rich history make it one of the most fascinating buildings in the city. Whether you're interested in exploring the crypt or learning more about Portugal's famous historical figures, a visit to the National Pantheon of Santa Engracia is sure to be a highlight of your trip.