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

YouTube

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….