Similar to La Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Prazeres is considered to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It is the second largest cemetery in Lisbon, and it is the last stop for the famous Tram 28E.
The cemetery is 12 hectares (30 acres).
Prazeres Cemetery was founded during the cholera outbreak of 1830s.
Prazeres Cemetery is Cemitério dos Prazeres in Portuguese. Prazeres means “pleasures” in English, and that was the name of the 16th century estate that occupied the hilltop prior to the cemetery.
While the biggest names in the history of Portugal are buried in the Jerónimos Monastery, the National Pantheon, and Sao Vicente de Fora Monastery, Prazeres Cemetery is an open-air history museum and shows great displays of family wealth as well.
Nearly all of the tombs are above-ground mausoleums. Entire families were buried within these little house-like structures.
Many of the crypts have glass doors, and it is possible to see coffins and photos of the deceased.
Some say the atmosphere is perhaps a little spooky, others say very peaceful. Regardless, it is a place to be quiet and respectful, as many are there to remember their relatives.
Among those buried in the cemetery are writer Ramalho Ortigão, artists Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, Almada Negreiros, explorer Alexandre de Serpa Pinto, founder of FC Benfica Cosme Damião, as well as many noblemen, Prime Ministers, generals, and presidents of Portugal.
Millionaire Carvalho Monteiro who built the Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra is buried at Prazeres Cemetery. In addition to the thousands buried here, the cemetery is also home to many stray cats.
In addition to the thousands buried here, the cemetery is also home to many stray cats.
In the cemetery’s chapel, there is an autopsy room that was used before Lisbon had a morgue. There is also a funerary museum.
Visitors will find pieces such as candelabra, crucifixes, photos, jars, and figures of saints that were used to honor the dead in the museum.
You can purchase a 90 minute audio tour of the cemetery https://voicemap.me/tour/lisbon/tram-28-s-final-destination-prazeres-cemetery
for 9€. Note: I am not affiliated with this tour provider.
The cemetery is open every day from 9 am until 5 pm, 6 pm in the summer.
How to get to Prazeres Cemetery
Praça São João Bosco, 568
GPS Coordinates: 38.71420058007002, -9.169926510747468
Trams 25 and 28 stop outside of the cemetery gate. Bus 709 stops here as well, and you will also find a snack bar at the tram stop.
If you are planning on riding Tram 28E, the Prazeres stop is the easiest stop to board the tram. The line to get on here will be much shorter than at the opposite end. You might consider catching a bus here or taking a Bolt or Uber to Prazeres and then riding the tram in the opposite direction. You can ride the trams, buses, ferries, and elevators for free with a Lisboa Card.
Prazeres Cemetery is also home to the largest stand of cypress trees on the Iberian Peninsula.
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