The church and convent of São Vicente de Fora are a must when visiting Lisbon. Not just to discover a place erected after the taking of the city in the Christian reconquest, but also to see one of the grandest religious buildings in the capital. Of the original Romanesque church promised by King Afonso Henriques to St Vincent – the patron saint of Lisbon – little remains, except the original site of its construction. The extraordinary Mannerist complex you can visit today was begun in the last years of the 16th century and it was Filipe II of Spain who ordered the reconstruction of a monument known for its simplicity, symmetry and balance. Climb the imposing steps and discover the stone-lined and marble-decorated church, where the chapels of Santíssimo and Nossa Senhora do Pilar stand out for their age and exquisite decoration. The high chapel also has a Baroque altar requested by King João V and the organ from São Vicente, one of the best in Lisbon. It is also recommended that you visit the Sala da Portaria at the entrance to the monastic quarters.