Remarkable Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon: final resting place of Portuguese rich and famous & Amália Rodrigues

This remarkable cemetery is really an interesting place to visit. Famous Portuguese personalities are buried here, mainly actors, singers, writers, painters and television presenters.

‘City of the deads’: cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon: a funerary chapel & 4 garbage bins……??  😉

Famous fado artist Amália Rodrigues 

The mortal remains of  Amália Rodrigues, the famous fado artist,  were transferred to the National Pantheon  in Lisbon (under enormous pressure from her admirers and a change in the law requiring a minimum of four years before repatriation).

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon

City of the dead: cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ ? (Cemitério dos Prazeres)

After the city of Lisbon was hit by an outbreak of cholera in 1833, causing thousands of deaths,  it was urgent to create a large cemetery for both rich and poorer victims. It has the weird name of  Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’, called after the nearby neighborhood (Prazeres) with the same name. Many of its tombs are big mausoleums, some with the size of small chapels.

Cemetery of Pleasures Cemitério dos Prazeres 2 Lisbon

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon & one of the 70 ‘streets’

Tranquility & landing/take-off zone of Lisbon’s airport

Once you enter the cemetery the sound of the city fades and the tranquility overwhelms you. Beautiful trees, a strange atmosphere and joyful singing of birds. You imagine yourself walking in a previous century, only disturbed by plane noise, rather loud, every 10 minutes. The cemetery is located close to the landing/take-off zone of Lisbon’s airport.

As far as I know nobody at this cemetery seems to complain 😉 🙂

Cemetery of Pleasures Cemitério dos Prazeres 3 Lisbon

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon

Most of the Prazeres mausoleums belong to rich, old or ‘important’ families, like f.i. the Palmela family. Many of the mausoleums are richly elaborated, have fine sculptures and decorations. There are also statues of the deceased. It’s like a ‘city in a city’ for the dead, with well-defined lanes (70! ) and funerary chapels that were built to look like little houses.

Cemetery of Pleasures Cemitério dos Prazeres 4 Lisbon river view

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon

The unusual about a lot of these graves is that they have little “front doors” with glass windows through which you can see the caskets and remnants of the dead and their visitors. Most of the trees are a species cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), much used in Portuguese cemeteries.

Cemetery of Pleasures Cemitério dos Prazeres 5 Lisbon river Tejo views

The cemetery also provides great views over the Alcântara valley, the river Tagus and the 25 April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril).

Until 1985, the great Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa was burried here. Thereafter his mortal remains were transferred to the cloisters of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Cemetery of Pleasures Cemitério dos Prazeres 7 Lisbon

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon

An example of a ‘front door’ with glass windows through which you can see the caskets.

Cemetery of Pleasures Cemitério dos Prazeres 8 Lisbon

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon

TRAM 28 – last stop

The cemetery, one of the largest of the Portuguese capital, can be reached by taking Electrico 28, which is a traditional and charming Lisbon tram, to its last stop in Prazeres. Open every day of the week from 09:00 – 17:00 (May – September 09:00 – 18:00). Largo dos PrazeresPraça São João Bosco 

More about cemeteries in Portugal

Cemiterio Prazeres entrance

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon : entrance

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Historic Alfama Lisbon: the Pantheon, marvelous river views & the remains of Amalia Rodrigues

You can find the Pantheon (Panteão Nacional) on Campo de Santa Clara, near Lisbons’ most famous flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’ (Thieves market)

lissabon-12-17-december-2007-001.jpg

The Pantheon is opened daily, from 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00-19:00, a ticket cost 2 euro. Address:  Campo de Santa Clara Lisbon.

It is possible to walk around the inside of the dome, you can climb the 169 stairs (I did it, pfffffff!) or use the elevator. From the exterior of the dome the view on the Alfama area and on to the Tagus river is marvelous!

Pantheon view 25 april bridge

View on the historic Alfama area and the Tagus river

History: the Church of Santa Engrácia (Igreja de Santa Engrácia) is a 17th century monument. In the 20th century the church has been converted into the National Pantheon (Panteão Nacional) in which important Portuguese personalities are buried, like Amalia Rodrigues, the famous fado singer.

Alfama Pantheon Amalia Rodrigues

Amalia Rodrigues

Its construction took 284 years and gave origin to the Portugese expression “Santa Engrácia works“, a Portuguese synonym for long unfinished works…..

Building work proceeded from 1682 through 1712. Eventually a dome was added, whereupon the church was reinaugurated in 1966. The magnificent 18th-century baroque organ was brought from the Lisbon Cathedral.

Alfama Pantheon organ

The magnificent 18th-century baroque organ

In 1966, during the government of the dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, the Church of Santa Engrácia was turned into a National Pantheon. There are cenotaphs to f.i. Luís de Camões (famous Portugese poet), Pedro Alvares Cabral (Portuguese explorer), Vasco da Gama (commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India) and Prince Henri The Navigator, an important figure in the early days of the Portugese Empire.

Alfama Pantheao Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama, his remains are elsewhere….

Lisbon people: Erika Reusens’ (Belgian origin) favorite places in Lisbon ‘an authentic, unique city’,Tagus river restaurants, amazing views & ferry trip to Cacilhas

Bom dia! My name is Erika Reusens, I was born in Belgium, I moved to Lisbon in 2004, which was quite an adventure, because I had to start all over again.

Lisbon people Erika

Erika Reusens (Belgian origin)

“I live in a quiet part of the historic area Bairro Alto, but ‘the place to be’ when it comes to nightlife! Bairro Alto means ‘High neighborhood’, as it is on top of one of the seven hills of Lisbon. It is a maze of narrow streets filled with trendy shops, galeries, charming grocery stores, small restaurants and bars”.

Bairro Alto Rua da Rosa

Lisbon, Bairro Alto area in the afternoon

“During the day it feels like living in a small village. Old people with coloured plastic bags are coming back from the market, having a chat with eachother while they slowly climb the steepy streets. The atmosphere is very relaxed. Typical Portuguese is the hanging laundry, drying in the wind. In the shops and in the cafes people take their time to make a friendly neighbourly talk.

For me Lisbon’s Tagus river is a very important part of my life. When I wake up the first thing I do is look out of the window to see the ‘mood’ and the colour of the river: sometimes wild or as smooth as a mirror, sometimes blue or ominous dark grey. In summertime the weather is gorgeous, and, thanks to the nearby river, there’s always a nice breeze!

Lisbon and the Tagus river are inseparable: I like it very much enjoying the calm water’s river on a Cais do Sodré’s terrace, reading a bit while slowly sipping a glass of Sangria and then take a (10-minutes) ferry trip to Cacilhas to the other side of the river”.

Ferry Lisbon Cacilhas

Lisbon ferry from Lisbon to the other side of the river: Cacilhas

Cacilhas is a picturesque neighbourhood in the banks of the river best known by its Cervejarias (popular beer houses) also offering shellfish, seafood, and fresh fish.

How to get there

I can recommend restaurant/Cervejaria O “Farol (lighthouse) just by the boat stop, the food is ‘finger licking’ good! From restaurant ‘O Farol’ I like to make a walk along the river, after passing some abandoned and ruinous warehouses you can have lunch or enjoy a drink at the outdoor terrace of ‘Atire-te ao rio’, a Brasilian cafe/restaurant, a small paradise with wonderful views!

Restaurarant Attira-te ao Rio

Terrace ‘Atire-te ao rio’, Brasilian cafe/restaurant: wonderful views!

“The cemetery of São João (Cementerio do Alto de São João) is a very impressive and beautiful old graveyard: the alleys, the graves, the tranquility….one of the most attractive places to admire the river Tagus as well!

Cementery Sao Joao

“For me, Lisbon is an authentic, unique city!”