Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral, a beautiful survivor.

In the famous Alfama neighborhood you will find one of the essential visits in the city, the Lisbon Cathedral. Known as the Sé (which comes from the episcopal see), this great cathedral is the oldest church in the city and the only important building that has survived the many fires and disasters that have devastated Lisbon, including the great earthquake of 1755. The Sé de Lisboa is a beautiful survivor.

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Get to know the Lisbon Cathedral

Built in different styles

Built in the 12th century on the ruins of a mosque after the conquest of the city during the Second Crusade, it was known as Santa María la Mayor for years until it was consecrated as Lisbon Cathedral in the 14th century. Its antiquity and the reforms carried out in various historical stages make this cathedral an amalgam of styles where the Romanesque predominates, although with evident Gothic influences.

Visits in Lisbon

What is the facade and its interior like?

Its western facade is one of the best known images of the capital of Portugal. Two tall and beautiful Romanesque towers give it the appearance of a fortress that is only broken by the bells and the large flanking rose window. The entire ensemble must have been photographed millions of times and is visible from many parts of the city.


The interior is gothic, dark and austere, in addition to having more than 15 chapels. Among them are small treasures such as the tomb of the Knight Lopo Fernandez, the altarpiece in the Bartolomeo Joanes chapel or a Christmas nativity scene from 1766 made from cork, wood and clay. 


Although without a doubt its most valuable piece are the relics of Saint Vincent, the patron saint of the city, which are also accompanied by a legend.


According to what they say, when the coffin with the remains of the saint was transferred from Cabo de San Vicente to the cathedral, two large black crows were in charge of accompanying the ship all the way. This is the reason why these, the ravens and the boat, are known as the symbols of Lisbon.

What to see in the Lisbon Cathedral

The Cloister, the jewel of the Cathedral

Although, without a doubt, the jewel of the Sé de Lisboa is its wonderful cloister. When seeing it for the first time, many affirm that it is very similar to that of the Jerónimos Church, it will be because both share the Gothic style, although this is much smaller. Its passage supported under double arches with beautifully carved capitals is reason enough to pay the entrance, but it is not the only thing it offers.


Although the cloister was built in the 14th century, the archaeological excavations carried out inside have uncovered Roman, Arab and medieval remains, revealing once again the great history that accompanies the Lisbon Cathedral and how well they knew choose your enclave, privileged within the city.


Beautiful inside and out, guardian of treasures with a legend, the Sé de Lisboa is, without a doubt, one of the great reasons to visit Lisbon and one of the most charming corners of La Alfama.

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