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The Bairro da Graça is a historic neighborhood located on Colina de Santo André, the highest hill in the city of Lisbon, with a wide variety of buildings, urban art murals, streets, squares, gardens, villas workers, viewpoints and palaces. In the streets of the Bairro da Graça you can see the constant movement of residents of a traditional village within a big city, the trams of Lisbon (Trams) (the famous Tram 28 passes through here), the tucks -tuck, public transport and automobiles.
Graça is one of the most typical neighborhoods in Lisbon, where you feel what it’s like to be Lisbon, where you get fantastic panoramic views over the entire city, where you can taste Portuguese cuisine in one of the many local restaurants. It is a neighborhood full of life with countless shops, cafes, patisseries, bakeries, fishmongers. We find a wide variety of attractions and local businesses in Bairro da Graça without the need for a means of transport. It’s all close in this neighborhood. The Bairro da Graça is close to Alfama, close to the Castelo de São Jorge, close to the Feira da Ladra… It’s a village within a city where all the people come together. know and greet. The Graça neighborhood has been rehabilitated a lot lately, which in recent years has led to an increase in demand from new national and foreign residents. It’s a safe and quiet neighborhood.
Graça is administered by the Parish Council of São Vicente.
Attractions to visit in the Graça neighborhood (Top 10)
1. Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen Viewpoint: Commonly known as “O Miradouro da Graça” is one of the most sought after viewpoints by tourists and Lisboners to enjoy the beauty of the city, located in Largo da Graça front at Igreja da Graça, the viewpoint is one of the privileged places to observe Mouraria, Baixa, Alfama, the Castle, the 25 de Abril Bridge, the Tagus River and the Serra da Arrábida on the other side of the river. Tagus. In this viewpoint there is a terrace to serve visitors. The main highlights of the Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen Viewpoint are the panoramic view over the city of Lisbon, from the Tagus River to Avenidas Novas; the Church and Convent of Graça; the beltside terrace where you can enjoy the view and the shade of the trees; and the Bust dedicated to the poet Sophia by Mello Breyner Andersen inaugurated in 2009 and sculpted by António Duarte.
The main highlights of the Igreja and Convento da Graça are:
- Cloister, the main attraction of the convent, built in Classical style, with Zulejos from the 17th century with themes related to birds and flowers; the Tile Panels with representation of Mercy, Faith, Hope, Justice, Freedom and Charity; and the Tile Panels depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ.
- Main facade highlighting a medallion with the effigy of Saint Augustine dating from the 13th century, a niche with an image of Saint Augustine and a bell tower by Manuel da Costa Negreiros.
- South Side Facade with reference to the dimension of the surrounding landscape.
- Church Ceiling built in five sections, painted with scenes representing angels and a caption with “Ave Maria” by João Vaz and Elói Ferreira do Amaral.
- Chapel-Mor rebuilt twice, namely between 1765 and 1785 and 1896 and 1905. The main highlights of the Chapel-Mor are Central painting representing a scene from the life of St. Augustine; the Four Medallions with representation of the Evangelists Mark, Luke, Matthew and John; the Twelve canvases with representation of the steps of Saint Augustine, authored by Pedro Alexandrino.
- Sacristy with emphasis on the Paintings representing the Assumption of Our Lady and portraits of Friar António Botado and Mestre de Foios Pereira by Pedro Alexandrino; A marble sarcophagus of the Secretary of State of Dom Pedro II (1648-1706) Mendo de Foios Pereira; and the Seven 18th century tile panels representing the life of Santa Maria.
- Capela dos Pretos Captivos includes the four images of black saints, namely Santa Efigénia, Santo Estêvão, Santo António de Notto and São Benedito
- Chapel of the Lord of the Steps with emphasis on the altar and medallion representing the Eternal Father, by Estêvão Rodrigues and the seven oil-painted paintings representing scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, authored by Francisco José da Rocha.
3. Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint located in Largo do Monte at approximately 90 meters of altitude, it is one of the highest viewpoints in the city of Lisbon. The viewpoint is a must-visit for visitors due to the magnificent view over the city, the presence of bars, restaurants and cafes, always with the presence of locals and tourists, especially in the late afternoon to watch the sunset . The main highlights of the Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte are the view over the Castle of São Jorge, the Baixa Pombalina, the Convento do Carmo, the Monsanto, the Avenidas Novas, the Penha de França and the Mouraria ; the Chapel of São Gens in honor of the first Archbishop of Lisbon, murdered in this place by the Romans due to spreading Catholicism. The highlight of the chapel is the Chair of Saint Gens which, according to legend, helps to cure infertility.
4. Voz do Operário is an education and charity society in the city of Lisbon that presents innovative teaching methods, located in Rua da Voz do Operário. “Voz do Operário” was founded during the growth of the Workers Movement in Portugal in the second half of the 19th century, related to the tobacco industry. This institution was created with the aim of teaching and organizing the strike movements carried out by a large part of the more than five thousand workers in this industry. The Voz do Operário had some important historical episodes, namely the foundation of the newspaper “Voz do Operário” in 1879, the creation of the Cooperative Society A Voz do Operário, first School Commission in 1891 or the beginning of construction of the current building in 1912. This institution deserves a visit due to the Social Library of the Voice of the Worker, one of the most important national libraries for the study of the 19th century trade union movement.
5. Vila Berta: is a housing and office area, located at Rua do Sol à Graça, built in the early 20th century by businessman Joaquim Francisco Tojal with the aim of housing family, friends, teachers and workers who worked at the Tojal Shipyard. Joaquim Francisco Tojal bought the land part of Quinta do Alcaide Fidalgo in 1887, having named the condominium “Vila Berta” in honor of his daughter. Vila Berta was inhabited by tailors, dressmakers, artists, construction professionals, engineers, architects, and other construction workers, especially from the 1960s onwards. The main points of interest of Vila Berta are the building architecture; the Tile in Art Nouveau; the wrought iron rails.
6. Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Glória is a building from the 18th century, located on Rua de Nossa Senhora da Glória, with emphasis on the ceiling decoration; authored by F.A. Martins; the Chapel-Mor with 18th century tiles representing themes related to flowers, a medallion related to the Virgin Mary, by Pedro Alexandrino de Carvalho; and the gilded carved altarpiece by the carver António Nunes Colares.
7. Palácio dos Condes da Figueira is one of the few palaces in the city of Lisbon built before the earthquake of 1755, located on the Calçada da Graça. Dom João II authorized Dom João de Mendonça to build the palace near the Arco de Santo André in 1490, one of the entrances to Lisbon destroyed in the early 20th century. The palace came to be called “Palace of the Counts of Figueira” in the 19th century when Dona Maria de Mendonça married the First Count of Figueira. The main highlights of the Condes da Figueira Palace are the main door dating from the 17th century, raised by the Mendonça coat of arms; and the 17th and 18th century tile panels
8. Palácio dos Senhores da Trofa is a 17th century building that integrates a hostel, located on Calçada da Graça. The main points of interest are the Central Courtyard; the windows of the facades; and the Gate of the 17th century.
9. Vila Sousa is a residential area, located in Largo da Graça. João Luís de Sousa ordered the construction of Vila Sousa in 1890, adapting an abandoned palace for the family and workers to inhabit. The main highlights are the Main entrance with inscription “Villa Sousa”, 1890 and “João Luís Sousa & Son”; the Central Courtyard; and the Main Facade decorated.
10. Cine Royal (now Pingo Doce supermarket) is a building from the 1920s that houses a supermarket, located on Rua da Graça. The Cine Royal was the first sound cinema in Lisbon, with capacity with 900 seats and an orchestra space, inaugurated in 1929 with a project by the architect Manuel Joaquim Norte Júnior (1878-1962) owned by the Galician businessman Agapito Serra Fernandes. The building performed several functions, including exit point Ascensor da Glória, which connected Rua da Graça and Rua da Palma, was a cinema between 1929 and 1983 and a supermarket. The main highlights of the building of the former Cine Royal are: the main facade, the Clock , the Symbol drawn on top of the door.
Other attractions to explore in the Graça neighborhood
- Bairro da Estrela de Ouro is a residential area made up of four streets: Rua Virgínia, Rua Rosalina, Rua Josefa Maria and Rua Serra Vidal, with a unique urban landscape that is visible in the buildings of two floors and five-pointed stars molded in the stone in Portuguese pavement. The Bairro da Estrela de Ouro was built by Agapito Serra Fernandes in 1908 with the objective of installing the family and employees of the companies. The main attractions are the houses painted in red and yellow, the stars drawn on the floor and on the houses, and Vivenda Rosalina, the former residence of Agapito Serra Fernandes.
- Jardim da Cerca da Graça is the “largest green space with public access to the historic area and the second largest in Lisbon, after the Botanical Garden”, with approximately 1.7 hectares. The Jardim da Cerca da Graça is much visited by tourists and Lisboners during the day, especially at weekends due to the various attractions, namely, the View over Mouraria , about the Castelo de São Jorge, April 25th Bridge, the Cristo Rei and the Tagus River. In the Jardim da Cerca da Graça we find a central lawn, three viewpoints, a picnic area, a kiosk with a terrace, a children’s playground, and a bike path.
- Jardim Augusto Gil is a garden located in Largo da Graça, with a lake, a statue with the inscription “Mãe e Filho” and the fact that it is relatively close to the Miradouro and Igreja da Graça .
- TEater of Grace
- Gold Star Quarter
- Chapel of Saint Veronica
- Convento das Mónicas
- Gil Vicente Secondary School
- Garden of the Convento da Graça
- Palácio Figueira
- Verónica Reservoir
- Sapper Barracks
Historical Shops in Bairro da Graça
- Pharmacy Morão is classified as a Historic Store, located in Largo da Graça since its foundation in 1896 by the pharmacist José Augusto Morão
Main Streets and Squares of Bairro da Graça
Largo da Graça is one of the busiest streets in Bairro da Graça during the day, with the constant movement of Lisbon trams (Trams), tuck tucks and taxis, tourists, neighborhood inhabitants and firefighters, from two barracks nearby. Largo da Graça, connects Calçada da Graça and Rua da Voz do Operário, with several attractions, including the Le Bar à Crêpes, the Pitéu da Graça and the Garden of Grace. The Largo da Graça has been named since 1700, due to the presence of the former Convent of Nossa Senhora da Graça.
Calçada da Graça is, together with Largo da Graça and Rua da Graça, the busiest area of this historic Lisbon district due to its proximity to important tourist attractions, namely the Igreja and Convento da Graça , the Miradouro da Graça, and the Palácio dos Condes da Figueira. The Calçada da Graça connects Largo da Graça and Rua do Salvador.
Rua da Graça is one of the most important streets in this Lisbon neighborhood due to the large movement of people, numerous restaurants, cafes, commercial establishments and public institutions that support citizens. Rua da Graça is one of the entry and exit points of Bairro da Graça through Rua dos Sapadores, which communicates directly with Bairro da Penha de França. Rua da Graça has several points of interest, namely Pingo Doce, where there was the Cine Royale, Bairro Estrela de Ouro or and access to the Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint through Rua da Senhora do Monte. The Rua da Graça is named after the construction of the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Graça
Rua da Voz do Operário is one of the streets that provides access to the Graça neighborhood and the Alfama neighborhood, being a little steep, with narrow sidewalks, tram tracks that make the road slippery. The Voz do Operário Street is very popular due to the presence of the headquarters of “A Voz do Operário”, close to the Feira da Ladra, the Church of São Vicente de Fora and Alfama. Rua Voz do Operário owes its name to the presence of the society of Voz do Operário in this place since 1915.
Rua da Senhora do Monte is the steepest street in Bairro da Graça, giving access to the Miradouro Nossa Senhora do Monte located at approximately ninety meters of altitude, the highest point in this neighborhood in Lisbon. Despite being located at this altitude, it is a must visit for anyone in Lisbon, due to the unique panoramic view over the Portuguese capital, with regular congestion of cars, tuck tucks, buses and vans. The Rua de Nossa Senhora do Monte connects the Miradouro Nossa Senhora do Monte and Rua da Graça, being named after the foundation of the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Monte and São Gens in 1147 .
History of the neighborhood of Graça
Graça was the place chosen by the first king of Portugal Dom Afonso Henriques to prepare the conquest of Lisbon in 1147. It was in this neighborhood that the Arab cemetery was located, which was later used to build two convents: one donated to the monks of São Vincent and another to the monks of St. Augustine. The two convents were dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Graça. The palaces of Graça were built between the 16th and the 18th centuries. Graça was a rural area until the Lisbon Earthquake of 1 November 1755, with only the Convento dos Agostinhos having survived. The neighborhood of Graça began to take its current shape in the 19th century, with the construction of Largo da Graça and Calçada da Graça. The neighborhood of Graça lost its rural characteristics with the construction of the Santa Apolónia Train Station, which led to the emergence of new residents, namely workers and entrepreneurs linked to the industry.