Cemeterio dos Prazeres, or Cemetery of Pleasures, was opened due to the same 1833 outbreak of cholera that led to the creation of the Cemitério do Alto de São João. It is named after a nearby neighborhood, Prazeres (Pleasures).
As you enter the gate, there is a large red map detailing 10 (ten!) different tour circuits you could take: mortuary symbols; professional symbols; Masonic symbols; cemetery history; great people; heraldic; architectonic typology (say that one three times fast!); death/mortality; statuary; and the mausoleums of the Palmela Family. If you follow the wall of the cemetery around to the left as you enter through the gates, you will find the administration office where, if you ask nicely, you can get a paper map (unfortunately only written in Portuguese, but accessible nonetheless). This clearly details the ‘statuary’ route through the cemetery – I didn’t realise until it was too late that there were nine other options I could have taken. If I had my time again, I probably would have followed the mortuary symbols track, I do love a winged hourglass. Having said that, the path I followed took just over 2 hours and I feel like I got a thorough tour of the cemetery in that time. It’s certainly the first time I’ve visited a cemetery and been presented with multiple options of how to navigate as a tourist.
There are many famous and wealthy Portuguese people buried here, from a broad range of professions – artists, authors, builders, craftsmen, firefighters etc. One of the famous interments includes Carvalho Monteiro, the millionaire who built the Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra. His extravagant grave can be found just to the left of the main entrance.
The famous Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa, was buried here until in 1985 when he was reinterred in Jeronimo’s monastery at Belem. Also, don’t miss the tomb of Professor Alix Lesgards (1876 – 1919). This grave is regarded as Lisbon’s first nude funerary statue. There are also concentrations of graves by profession, there are two Deposits of Writers, the Field of Artists, the Field of Public Security Police, and the Field of the Fire Brigade.
The Chapel of Pleasures, containing the old autopsy room, is only open on All Souls Day (2nd of November). Unfortunately, I missed it by just a few days, if you make it there I would love to see/hear all about it!
Dying to Visit Cemeterio Dos Prazeres?
Cemeterio dos Prazeres can be reached by taking tram 28 to its last stop, Prazeres.
Winter Hours: Daily, 9am – 5pm
Summer Hours: Daily, 9am – 6pm
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