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The Cathedral of Lisbon or Church of Santa Maria Maior, is the oldest and most important church in the city.  It has been classified as a National Monument since 1910. 

  “Built, it seems, on the former Muslim mosque, the first building impulse of the Cathedral of Lisbon took place between 1147, the date of the city's Reconquest, and the early years of the 13th century, a project in which an identical scheme was adopted. that of the Cathedral of Coimbra, with three naves, a triforium over the lateral naves, a projecting transept and a tripartite apse, a model essentially from Norman roots, due, with great probability, to the origin of the architect Roberto.” ( DGPC | General Survey ( ). His style is predominantly Romanesque.



In the following centuries, it was the target of several works – construction of the Private Chapel (funerary) by Bartolomeu de Joanes; the cloister built by D. Dinis (constitutes a milestone in the evolution of national Gothic art), the chevet with a ambulatory, built by D. Afonso IV (for the family pantheon). This work is the most important Gothic chapter between Alcobaça and Batalha, being the only Gothic cathedral ambulatory in Portugal.


The great earthquake of 1755 affected the Cathedral, destroying the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, the south tower and the chancel decoration, including the royal tombs, and the cloister. The lantern tower partially collapsed and destroyed part of the nave's stone vault, which was rebuilt in wood.



Other works followed, but were suppressed during the two restoration campaigns that took place during the first half of the 20th century, whose objective was the "restitution" of the medieval atmosphere to the entire complex.

“(...) under the impetus of António do Couto Abreu, the restoration of the Sé favored pre-existing structures, endowing the building with an evident neo-Romanesque appearance, whose solemn inauguration was carried out in 1940, in one of its greatest moments. celebration of the Estado Novo." ( DGPC | General Survey (


Like other medieval religious buildings, the Cathedral of Lisbon resembles a fortress. The façade still retains its 12th-century Romanesque style, surmounted by a magnificent central rose window.

Once inside, with a central plan, we find a temple that has some decorative elements, such as the baptismal font where Santo António de Lisboa was baptized, some 14th century sarcophagi and a beautiful 14th century Gothic chapel.



GPS coordinates: 38º 42' 35'' N 9º 7' 59'' W

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