Memória Church

Lisboa

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Description

Situated nearby the superb Ajuda Palace, in the cosmopolitan town of Lisboa, the Memória Church is one of the treasures that the Country’s capital has to offer.

Its edification began in 1760, in memory of the Portuguese king D. José assassination attempt (3rd September 1758) by the Távora family, hence the name “Igreja da Memória” (Church of the Memory). The king was returning from a meeting with his mistress, when his carriage was attacked and the King was shot in the arm. As the prime minister Sebastião de Melo (later the head of government Marquês de Pombal) soon discovered, the attempt was ordered by members of the Távora family, taken as enemies by the powerful Marquis of Pombal, that had by that time decided to limit the growing powers of the aristocratic families like the Távoras.
The Marquis decided to execute all the family and closest relatives in 1759, and still nowadays in Belém, on the ’Beco do Chão Salgado’ rests a monument paying homage to the family.

The Church’s construction works stopped in 1762 for economical reasons and only in 1781 are retaken, already with some alterations from the initial project. This initial project was signed by the renowned Italian Architect Giovanni Carlo Bibienna and afterwards by Mateus Vicente de Oliveira.

The Church is nowadays presented in a gracious neo-classical style with its interior covered with the noble marble. Its highlights are the luminous dome and the famous tomb of the Marquis of Pombal.

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