Having visited the Sao Vicente de Fora we were going to give the Pantheon a miss, but staying in Alfama with an afternoon to spare, my friend and I ventured up the hill to visit this place. What a wonderful surprise and thankfully hardly a tourist in sight. Now that makes for some great photography. Luckily I was carrying my wide-angled lens with me resulting in some incredible photos.
Originally the Church of Santa Engracia, this magnificent building took several centuries to complete. In the 20th century however, it was converted to the National Pantheon. It now serves as the resting place of prominent Portuguese personalities, namely the beautiful fado singer Amalia Rodrigues. The famous Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama has a monument here, but his remains are interred at the Jeronimos Monastery at Belem.
It was worth climbing several flights of steep steps to reach the gallery that rings the entirety of the roof. Not normally afraid of heights, this one was particularly confronting looking down into the void below. But oh so worth it seeing the inlaid marble patterns of the floor below.
We continued up to the rooftop for great views across the Tagus River. Nothing like a view from a stark white building on a beautiful day.
Back at ground level, I looked up to see the great dome in all its glory.
Don’t forget to zoom in on interesting features and artefacts as you walk around.
As we exited the Pantheon, another photo opportunity presented itself with the shadows formed by the gates in front of us. I have converted the photo to black and white for a more dramatic effect.
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