Graça, Lisbon

The Graça quarter, which lies on a hill northeast of the Castelo de Sao Jorge, is a very interesting and lively part of the city. At the turn of the century many houses were built here for the families of workers. The facades, some extremely narrow, give an indication of the cramped living conditions to be found inside.
An example of these workers' houses can be seen in the Largo da Graça; through an entranceway (no. 82), the "Villa Sousa" is found in a courtyard.

Graça Monastery

Built in 1890 on the site of an earlier palace, Graça's church and monastery was built here in 1271 by the Augustinians, who until then had had their seat on the neighboring hill to the north.
The monastery, which was once the wealthiest in Lisbon and in which up to 1,500 people could be accommodated, serves today as barracks, therefore only the interior of the church can be viewed.
The whole complex was rebuilt after the earthquake in the 18th C. and after that restoration work was carried out several times, the last in 1905. The exposed position of the church is immediately striking. It stands on the summit of the Graça hill and is visible from afar. The church forecourt is one of the city's loveliest vantage points. The Baroque facade, with the detached bell tower, gives a really dilapidated impression.
The one aisled interior covers an area of 60 by 30m/197 by 98ft and appears dark, despite the white and pink marble used and the stucco ceiling painted in the same colors. The walls are interrupted by four solid and powerful looking side chapels which greatly contribute to the overall impression of the interior.
Address: Largo da Graça, 1100-001 Lisboa, Portugal

Senhor dos Passos

Noteworthy is the violet clad figure of the "Senhor dos Passos" - reached via a flight of steps in the right transept - which is carried in a procession every year on the second Sunday in Lent. This has taken place in Graça since 1587.

Nossa Senhora do Monte

On a hill to the north of the monastery complex of Graça stands the little chapel of Nossa Senhora do Monte. It was built in 1243 on the site where the first bishop of Lisbon, Sao Gens, was martyred in the fourth C. Many local people took part in the rebuilding of the chapel after the earthquake.
The interior of the small church is relatively bright and noticeably simply fitted out. Unfortunately the main altar was decorated somewhat more lavishly.
A crib constructed by Machado de Castro is in a window on the left hand wall. He also created the cribs in the Basilica da Estrela, the Museu de Arte Antiga and in the Sé Patriarchal.
In front of the chapel lies a very lovely, tree lined vantage point from which, when looking to the southwest, a marvelous view of the whole of Lisbon's inner city as far as the Tagus can be enjoyed and which affords perhaps the best view of the Castelo de Sao Jorge.

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