Cemitério dos Prazeres: Lisbon’s atmospheric cemetery of cats
Lisbon’s largest and most peaceful cemetery is also home to a tribe of very chilled and very pampered feral cats.
High in the hills of western Lisbon, at the end of the No. 28 tram line, you’ll find Cemitério dos Prazeres.
Established in 1833, it is the largest cemetery in Lisbon and regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.
Here you will find the Mausoleum of the Dukes of Palmela, the largest in the world, as well as the final resting place of Portuguese nobility, presidents, artists and authors.
The cemetery is made up exclusively of mausoleums. Many have glass doors so you can peek in and see the coffins and the shrines surrounding them.
Most are quite homely, with photos in picture frames and vases sitting on crocheted doilies holding freshly cut flowers.
Alfredo Marceneiro, Protugal’s most famous Fado singer is buried here. And so too is the 1st Count of Farrobo and filmmaker, Manuel Carvalheiro.
But today the cemetery’s most famous residents are the ferals cats that have set up home here.
They sun themselves on benches or escape the heat in the shade of the cemetery’s magnificent trees.
The caretaker leaves out bowls of water and food for them. Visitors bring them the occasional treat. They simply arch their backs and stretch, wander amongst the mausoleums and sleep on cool slabs of granite for much of the day.
Compared to the street cats trying to eek out an existence in the centre of the city, the life of the cats of Prazeres is a calm and relaxed one.
How to visit Cemitério dos Prazeres
Where: Praça São João Bosco1350-297, Lisbon
Hours: 9 am-5pm
Getting There: Catch the No.28 Tram to the end of the line Campo de Ourique. The cemetery gate is opposite.
More information: VisitLisboa.com
Main image: A cat lazing in the sun in Cemitério dos Prazeres (© Peter Moore)