MUSEUM AND CHURCH OF ST. ROQUE
ST. JOAO BATISTA CHAPEL
In 1505 Lisbon was being ravaged by the plague. The site of São Roque, outside the city walls (now an area known as the Bairro Alto), became a cemetery for plague victims. At the same time the king of Portugal, D. Manuel I (reigned 1495–1521), sent to Venice for a relic of St. Roch, the patron saint of plague victims, whose body had been translated to that city in 1485. The relic was sent by the Venetian government, and it was carried in procession up the hill to the plague cemetery.
The inhabitants of Lisbon then decided to erect a shrine on the site to house the relic, the shrine was begun on 24 March 1506 and dedicated on 25 February 1515. At about the same time a Brotherhood (or confraternity) of St. Roque was established to oversee and take care of the shrine. Made up of people from all classes, the Brotherhood still exists today, and maintains the Chapel of St. Roque in the present church.
In 1540, after the founding of the Society of Jesus in the 1530s, King John III (1521–1557) of Portugal invited them to come to Lisbon and the first Jesuits arrived in the same year.
The small shrine was inadequate for the Jesuits and a planning began immediately for building a new church, the first stone was laid in 1555.
It contains 9 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. The painted ceiling of the church is a trompe l'oeil designed to give the illusion of barrel vaulting supported by four large arches covered in volutes and other decorative elements.
The church continues to function, and part of the Jesuit residence was turned into a museum (the Museu de São Roque) late in the 19th century. Other parts of the complex, and later buildings were constructed, still function as the Santa Casa’s headquarters for the city.
The Museum shows a permanent exposition and have a nice restaurant/bar and a souvenir store.
*TICKETS PRICE TO THE MUSEUM:
Individual:( from 15 to 64 years ) – 2,5 euros
Senior:( >65 yrs, proof of age must be shown ) – free
Child(< 14 years) - free
CHURCH VISITS ARE FREE
*Prices are subject to alterations without prior notice, please confirm prices in the official website and for combined tickets.
Visit in the Tours:
April - Setember:
10.00am. to 7.00pm.
( last admission at 6.30pm.)
October - March:
10.00am. to 6.00pm.
(last admission at 5.30pm.)
Monday morning (open at 2.00pm.), 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25 December.