Hundreds of people applauded as the funeral procession of former president Mário Soares set off from his Lisbon home at around 11 am on Monday.
The former Portuguese President of the Republic and prime-minister Mário Soares died on Saturday, aged 92, several weeks after being admitted to a hospital in Lisbon.
The president’s casket, covered in the Portuguese flag, made a stop at Colégio Moderno, a nearby private school founded by the former president’s father.
The procession arrived at the Lisbon town hall square at 11.34 where the coffin was transferred to a gun carriage that will later travel on to the Jerónimos Monastery where a vigil will be held ahead of the funeral on Tuesday.
The historic leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party, known in Portugal as one the Founding Fathers of the democratic era that started in Portugal in 1974, died after respiratory complications that pushed him to a deep coma since late last year.
Mário Soares served in the highest offices in the Portuguese political landscape: he was prime-minister, President of the Republic, Portuguese MP to the European Parliament.
Born on 7 December, 1924, in Lisbon, Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares founded and was the first leader of the Socialist Party and was Minister of Foreign Affairs, a role in which he negotiated the Portuguese entry into what is now the European Union.
The Portuguese government decreed three days of national mourning starting on Monday and flags around the country will fly at half-mast during that period.
Soares’ body will lie in state at the Jerónimos Monsatery from 1 pm on Monday and the funeral will be hald at 3.30 pm at the Prazeres Cemetery on Tuesday.