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Parliament (Sao Bento Palace)

This magnificent 16th-century building was once a monastery but is today the seat of the Portuguese government.

Visit the Parliament to see the seat of the Portuguese government and to admire the architecture of this towering, white neoclassical building. The Parliament, or Sao Bento Palace, was built in the 16th century as a monastery for Benedictine monks. The Portuguese government took over the building during the suppression of religious orders in 1834. 

Although a number of renovations have taken place since it was built, it is still clear that the original monastery was designed as a large rectangular structure arranged around four cloisters. Four large statues mounted on pedestals represent prudence, strength, justice and temperance.

In 1867, the chapter house where the monks met to pray was remodeled by French architect Jean Francois Colson. Renowned Portuguese architect Miguel Ventura Terra was in charge of a 40-year remodel that began in 1903. He also updated the façade, adding a neoclassical portico with columns and a triangular pediment. 

There are many treasures behind the impressive façade. The interior has grand marble pillars and large collections of sculptures and paintings. The building is open to the public when parliament is in session and there are other opportunities to see the interior, so check the official website for details.

If you want to see where the Prime Minister of Portugal resides, take a look behind the main Parliament building. The Prime Minister’s stately mansion was built within the garden of the old monastery. It has served as the leader of the country’s residence since 1938.

The Parliament is located in the Chiado district, one of Lisbon’s oldest and most architecturally impressive neighborhoods. The Parliament is on the city bus line and within walking distance of other major attractions. If you want to know more about the history of the area and the building, book a walking tour of Lisbon through your hotel or online before you travel. There are many fine restaurants and sidewalk cafés nearby. 


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Dom Pedro Lisboa £123
Dom Pedro Lisboa

Dom Pedro Lisboa

Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 24, Lisbon
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Lisbon Old Town, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Amoreiras Shopping Center and Gulbenkian Museum. Rossio Square and Lisbon Zoo are also within 2 mi (3 km). Rato Station is 10 minutes by foot and Marques de Pombal Station is 10 minutes.

    EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel £142
    EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel

    EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel

    Av. Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 15, Lisbon
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Lisbon Old Town, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Amoreiras Shopping Center and Marquis of Pombal Square. Gulbenkian Museum and Rossio Square are also within 2 miles (3 km). Marques de Pombal Station is 8 minutes by foot and Rato Station is 10 minutes.

      Varandas de Lisboa £66
      Varandas de Lisboa

      Varandas de Lisboa

      Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 8, Lisbon, Lisboa
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Lisbon Old Town, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Lisbon Cathedral (Se), Commerce Square and Castle of Sao Jorge. Santa Justa Elevator and Rossio Square are also within 15 minutes. Terreiro do Paco Station is only a 4-minute walk and Baixa-Chiado Station is 9 minutes.

        Iberostar Selection Lisboa £155
        Iberostar Selection Lisboa

        Iberostar Selection Lisboa

        Rua Castilho 64, Lisbon
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Lisbon Old Town, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Liberty Avenue and Marquis of Pombal Square. Rossio Square and Gulbenkian Museum are also within 1 mile (2 km). Marques de Pombal Station is only a 4-minute walk and Rato Station is 7 minutes.

          EXE Liberdade £74
          EXE Liberdade

          EXE Liberdade

          Avenida Duque de Loule 124, Lisbon
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Lisbon Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Liberty Avenue and Marquis of Pombal Square. Rossio Square and Gulbenkian Museum are also within 1 mile (2 km). Marques de Pombal Station is only a 5-minute walk and Parque Station is 8 minutes.

            Dear Lisbon - Gallery House £128
            Dear Lisbon - Gallery House

            Dear Lisbon - Gallery House

            Rua de São Bento, 31, Lisbon
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Lisbon Old Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Parliament (Sao Bento Palace) and Botanical Garden. Santa Justa Elevator and Rossio Square are also within 1 mile (2 km). Cais do Sodre Metro Station is 13 minutes by foot and Lisbon Santos Station is 11 minutes.

              Maxime Hotel £131
              Maxime Hotel

              Maxime Hotel

              Praça da Alegria, 58, Lisbon
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Lisbon Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Principe Real Square, Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara and Rossio Square. Armazens do Chiado Mall and Commerce Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Avenida Station is only a 4-minute walk and Restauradores Station is 6 minutes.

                Lisbon São Bento Hotel £97
                Lisbon São Bento Hotel

                Lisbon São Bento Hotel

                Rua de São Bento, 353, Lisbon
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Lisbon Old Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Parliament (Sao Bento Palace) and Botanical Garden. Santa Justa Elevator and Rossio Square are also within 1 mile (2 km). Cais do Sodre Metro Station is 13 minutes by foot and Rato Station is 15 minutes.