Remarkable Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon (Cemitério dos Prazeres): really worth a visit, 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. 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 trash containers

Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon: a funerary chapel & 4 garbage bins……??  ;-)

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’

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 here 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

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

3 Responses to “Remarkable Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’ Lisbon (Cemitério dos Prazeres): really worth a visit, final resting place of Portuguese rich and famous & Amália Rodrigues”

  1. [...] Traveling to Portugal anytime soon? If so, check out the Cemiterio dos Prazeres in Lisbon that’s home to personalities [...]

  2. thought i’d read this somewhere
    http://www.nerogrigio.com/blog/category/graveyards/

  3. Great place – must see

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