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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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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. 


Guide to Exploring Parliament


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The One Palácio da Anunciada £102
The One Palácio da Anunciada

The One Palácio da Anunciada

Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, 112-134, Lisbon
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Lisbon Old Town, this luxury hotel is steps away from Liberty Avenue and Restauradores Square. Rossio Square and Santa Justa Elevator are also within 10 minutes. Largo da Anunciada Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Restauradores Station is 3 minutes.

    Iberostar Selection Lisboa £102
    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 Amoreiras Shopping Center are also within 1 mile (2 km). Marques de Pombal Station is only a 4-minute walk and Rato Station is 7 minutes.

      Lisbon Serviced Apartments Santos £38
      Lisbon Serviced Apartments Santos

      Lisbon Serviced Apartments Santos

      Calçada Marquês de Abrantes, nº 24, Lisbon, Lisbon
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Lisbon Old Town, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Parliament (Sao Bento Palace) and Mercado da Ribeira. Commerce Square and Rossio Square are also within 1 mile (2 km). Largo Trindade Coelho Stop is 14 minutes by foot and Baixa-Chiado Station is 17 minutes.

        Casa do Jasmim by Shiadu £43
        Casa do Jasmim by Shiadu

        Casa do Jasmim by Shiadu

        Rua do Jasmim 19, Lisbon
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Principe Real, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of National Museum of Natural History and Botanical Garden. Rossio Square and Restauradores Square are also within 15 minutes. Príncipe Real Stop is only a 3-minute walk and São Pedro de Alcântara Stop is 5 minutes.

          Lisbon São Bento Hotel £49
          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), Mercado da Ribeira and Botanical Garden. Rossio Square and Commerce Square are also within 1 mile (2 km). R. S. Bento/Cç. Estrela Stop and R. Poiais S. Bento Stop are within a 2-minute walk.

            My Suite Lisbon Guest House – Principe Real £59
            My Suite Lisbon Guest House – Principe Real

            My Suite Lisbon Guest House – Principe Real

            Rua de Sao Boaventura, 23, Lisbon
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bairro Alto, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Church of Sao Roque, Rossio Square and Botanical Garden. Santa Justa Elevator and Restauradores Square are also within 15 minutes. Rua São Pedro de Alcântara Stop and São Pedro de Alcântara Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

              Ascensor da Bica - Lisbon Serviced Apartments £37
              Ascensor da Bica - Lisbon Serviced Apartments

              Ascensor da Bica - Lisbon Serviced Apartments

              Largo de Santo Antoninho, 1, Lisbon
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Lisbon Old Town, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Mercado da Ribeira, Rossio Square and Commerce Square. Lisbon City Hall and Santa Justa Elevator are also within 15 minutes. Ascensor da Bica Stop and Rua de São Paulo/Bica Stop are within a 2-minute walk.

                Casa Oliver Príncipe Real £51
                Casa Oliver Príncipe Real

                Casa Oliver Príncipe Real

                Princípe Real º25, Lisbon
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Principe Real, this guesthouse is steps away from Principe Real Square and Botanical Garden. Parliament (Sao Bento Palace) and Santa Justa Elevator are also within 15 minutes. Príncipe Real Stop is only a 2-minute walk and R. Escola Politécnica Stop is 3 minutes.