You are invited to tour inside São João National Theatre and São Bento da Vitória Monastery
These two landmark buildings in Porto are some of the most visited monuments in Porto, with over 12 million visitors as of 2015, since guided tours were implemented. This is a rather unique chance to unveil the treasures these heritage monuments in Porto offer.
As usual this time of year, during the August break, the National Theatre São João (TNSJ) and the Monastery of São Bento da Vitória are with doors open, offering guided tours. Here, visitors will be able to go backstage and see the set and costumes first hand at the National Theatre São João, for instance, or appreciate the grandiosity of the monastery's architecture, located at the very heart of Porto, in Vitória parish. The Monastery is a classified National Monument since 1977.
There are guided tours in English, French, Spanish and also a video guide with Portuguese Sign Language (LGP).
Besides domestic tourists, French, English and Spanish tourists are among those who visit the most these two historic venues in Porto.
Did you know that the primitive theatre was constructed around 1796 by Italian Vicente Mazzoneschi, and inaugurated on 13 May 1798, as the Teatro do Príncipe (Prince's Theatre), to honour the prince-regent João VI, who later became King.
But, on 11 April 1908, the theatre interior was destroyed due to fire and a new structure was built on its former site.
A tender was launched and the TNSJ as we know was projected by architect Marques da Silva in 1910.
This year, 2020 marks the centennial year of the National Theatre São João.
Guided tours are the best way to finding the "building's past memoirs" and where the future is still a "dream that can be dreamed", within the foyer, concert hall, rehearsal room, dressing rooms or the technical areas.
Guided tours are scheduled from Tuesday till Saturday, at 12.30pm, up to a maximum of 20 people.
Ticket price is six euros per person (10 years and over).
As for the Church of the São Bento da Vitória Monastery, since 2018 it was included in the roadmap of the Monastery of São Bento da Vitória, and both the Church and the Monastery are the largest ecclesiastical monuments in the city of Porto.
The Monastery was built in the late 1500s, after a series of difficult negotiations, by the monks of the old Benedictine Congregation.
Visits to the São Bento da Vitória Monastery are scheduled from Monday to Friday, at 10.30am or at 12.30pm. It costs six euros per person. Children up to ten years of age are admitted to the Monastery for free, whenever accompanied by an adult.
The TNSJ provides a special joint ticket to visit both monuments and it costs 10 euros.