The Church of St. Roch in Lisbon is one of the first Jesuit churches in the Portuguese-speaking countries. For more than 200 years, the church housed a Jesuit congregation until they were expelled from Portugal. After the earthquake in 1755, the church and outbuildings were handed over to the Mercy House in Lisbon (Santa Casa do Misericordia de Lisboa). The Church of St. Roch in Lisbon is one of the buildings that remained almost intact during the great Lisbon earthquake.
The church was named after St. Roch, a Catholic saint who patronized the sick, pilgrims and was also known for his healing from the plague. The church was built in the 16th century and was the first Jesuit church built for sermons and for the public. There were many chapels in the church, most of them were built in the Baroque style of the early 17th century. The most famous chapel is the 18th century Saint-Jean-Baptiste chapel.
Different architectural styles were used for the exterior and interior finishing of the church. The decoration of the chapels of St. Francis Xavier, the Holy Family and the altar shows the features of mannerism. The early Baroque chapel of Holy Communion was built first, before the Baroque chapels of Our Lady of Doctrine and Our Lady of the Pious Virgin.
Built in 1740, the Sant-Roch church is considered a unique masterpiece of European architecture. The project was designed by Italian architects Nicola Salvi and Luigi Vanvitelli. The chapel was built in Rome for 8 years. Then, after the consecration of the chapel by Pope Benedict XV, it was transported to Portugal on three ships.
The interior of the chapel is decorated with precious mosaics, which represent biblical scenes such as the baptism of Christ and the day of the Trinity. The chapel has been completed in a new architectural style for Portugal with various decorative elements: festoons, garlands, angels or ornaments.
Visit Lisbon and its region