The Monastery of St. Vincent

The Monastery of St. Vincent

The Lisbon Cathedral, or the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Mary Major to give it the correct name (Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa or Sé de Lisboa in Portuguese), is an amazing example of a provincial Roman Catholic Church. The site of the Lisbon Cathedral is one of the oldest sites of importance to Catholics in Lisbon, and has been in use as a place of worship since 1147. Since this time, the building has been repaired, extended and renovated many times.

Lisbon cultural tours

by Maria Eklind

Lisbon Cathedral as it appears today was rebuilt in 1755, in Rococo style, and the sacristy was added. One of Portugal’s most famous sculptures, Bartomoleu Joanes, was commissioned to produce many works for the newly renovated cathedral, including the impressive crib which makes up part of the Gothic chapel.

Lisbon has been an important centre for the catholic faith since the 4th Century, and this is entirely apparent when one witnesses the pure majesty of Lisbon Cathedral. Despite its colourful past, the cathedral has been maintained through the centuries, as befits a major catholic church. Indeed, one can only speculate at the amount of resources expended to achieve this.

In modern times, the Lisbon Cathedral follows the format of the classic Latin cross design, evident in cathedrals around the world. This includes a transept and an ambulatory which encapsulates the main chapel. A single cloister is attached to the church. From outside, one could be forgiven for thinking that the cathedral is some type of castle or fort, as its profile is complete with towers and crenelated walls. This is a trait which is shared by many Portuguese churches, and dates back to the period in Portuguese history where churches were designed to double up as defensive structures.

Overall, Lisbon Cathedral is one of Portugal’s main attractions for anyone interested in history, architecture or the catholic religion, and well worth a visit. In the summer, the grounds are breath taking, a wonderful place to relax and unwind in the shade of this impressive cathedral.

Highlights of the Lisbon Cathedral

It is very hard to single out specific highlights of the Lisbon Cathedral, as the entire site is quite simply stunning. However, there is one inclusion which does stand out from the crowd.

Within the ambulatory can be found a trio of Gothic tombs, dating back to the 14th Century. Each of the three tombs is decorated by a coat of arms belonging to the family whose member is interned here. One tomb is that of the Royal Princess Booties, the second of the nobleman Lopo Fernandes Pacheco, and the third of his wife. These are three of the most well preserved tombs of their type in the world.

The Lisbon Cathedral for Families
The Lisbon Cathedral is a prominent historical and religious site. Older children may well enjoy a visit. However, there is little to keep toddler amused.

Lisbon Cathedral Opening Times
The Cathedral itself opens every day from 10am until 7pm. The cloister and the sacristy are open every day, from 10am until 1pm, and then again from 2pm until 6pm.

Getting to the Lisbon Cathedral
Lisbon Cathedral is located at:
Largo da Sé

The easiest way to get to the Lisbon Cathedral is by tram number 28, which stops outside.

Date posted: 1st November, 2018

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