Memória Church
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Memorial Church (Igreja da Memória)

The Memorial Church is located in Ajuda uphill from Belém and was built in 1760 on the behest of Dom José I as a thanksgiving gesture for surviving an assassination attempt two years previous. This attractive neoclassical domed church, reminiscent of the Estrela Basilica, is the final resting place of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the first Marquês de Pombal who effectively ran the country during José's reign.


Igreja da Memória

Igreja da Memória – East façade

Following the devastating earthquake on November 1, 1755, which destroyed the royal palace, the traumatised Dom José took up residence in a tent complex in Ajuda, away from the city centre and riverfront. Ajuda became the centre of the royal court and political and social life. On the evening of the 3rd of September, 1758, José I was riding in an unmarked carriage on the outskirts of Lisbon. The king was returning to the royal encampment after an evening with his mistress. En route two or three men intercepted the carriage and fired on its occupants. José I was shot in the arm and his driver was badly wounded, but both survived and returned to Ajuda. The location of the memorial church marks the exact spot where the failed attempt on the king’s life took place.

The church has a vivid white marble exterior with several attractive neoclassical features, including a large, white dome. The interior is somewhat austere with a mix of white marble, decorated with sculptures and gold guiding. A tomb inside the church is the last resting place of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, better known as the first Marquês de Pombal. The church is away from the major monuments of Belém however if you're walking to the Ajuda palace the Igreja da Memória is well worth a small detour.
Monday – Saturday: 14h00 – 19h00, Sunday: 08h00 – 12h00

Getting to the Memorial Church


Contact Details
18 Calçada da Memória, 1300-399 Lisbon, Portugal.
38° 42' 10.5" N | 09° 12' 08.1" W | +351 213 614 660 |  Website

Yellow Bus Tour
Igreja da Memória – Interior

Igreja da Memória – Interior