St Vicent was born in Zaragoza in Spain in the first century AD and became the town’s deacon during the early days of Christianity in Iberia. He was later imprisoned in Valencia and sentenced to death in 304 AD during the days of Christian persecution. It is said that while he was being burned alive, the room filled with light and the voices of angels, and he was proclaimed a martyr and then a saint. In the eighth century, his remains – which had somehow survived the fire – were miraculously washed up in an unmanned boat piloted by ravens at what is now Cabo de São Vicente. Perhaps more credible is the theory that Christians took whatever was left of Vincent with them to flee invading Moors, arriving at the safe outpost of the Cape where they later built a chapel to house his remains. In 1173, Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first Christian monarch, had the saint’s remains moved to Lisbon. Legend has it that the faithful ravens followed them to the capital, and guarded over him in the cloisters of Lisbon’s Sé (cathedral), until the last raven died in 1978. Today São Vicente remains Lisbon’s patron saint.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

From Gothic monasteries and riverside palaces, to Moorish castles that loom over terraced hillsides, Portugal has a good deal of striking places to stay. Its c…

12 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Heading to the Portuguese capital this year? Whether you want rich history or shops galore, these are the best areas to stay in Lisbon according to our expert.…

09 Feb 2016 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month