Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora

Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora (the Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) was founded in 1147 by Portugal’s first king, Dom Afonso I Henriques. Within the former monastery is the Panteão da Dinastia de Bragança (Pantheon of the Braganza Dynasty). The Royal Dynasty of Braganza ruled Portugal from 1640 until the monarchy was abolished in 1910. The Dynasty also ruled Brazil until the monarchy was abolished there in 1889.

The founder of the royal dynasty, Dom João, Duke of Braganza, was declared King João IV of Portugal on 1st December 1640 when the country declared independence from Spain. As Duke of Braganza, João married Luisa María Francisca de Guzmán y Sandoval in 1633. Luisa was from a Spanish aristocratic family, her maternal grandfather Don Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y de Zúñiga-Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia was commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armada.

João & Luisa’s younger daughter, Catarina (Catherine), married King Charles II of England, Scotland & Ireland in 1662. Charles and Catherine had no children although Charles had many illegitimate children by various mistresses. Following Charles’ death in 1685, Catherine remained in London until she returned to her native Portugal in 1692. Catherine died in Lisbon at the Palácio da Bemposta (Bemposta Palace) in 1705 and was interred in the Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora. Charles was interred in Westminster Abbey.

The Panteão da Dinastia de Bragança was created from the Old Refectory by King Ferdinand of Portugal (widower of Queen Maria II) in 1855. Catherine is buried next to her mother and close to the tomb of her father. The last Portuguese monarch to be interred in the Panteão was King Manuel II of Portugal. Manuel reigned Portugal from 1908, following the assassination of his father King Carlos I and older brother Crown Prince Luís, until the monarchy was abolished in 1910. Manuel spent his exile at Fulwell near Twickenham and died there in 1932. Manuel’s mother, Queen Amélie, was the last member of the dynasty to be interred in the Panteão following her death in 1951.