Estrela Basilica

Lisbon, Portugal

The Estrela Basilica is a former carmelite convent built by order of Queen Maria I of Portugal, as a fulfilled promise for giving birth to a son (José, Prince of Brazil). The official name of the church is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Construction started in 1779 and the basilica was finished in 1790, after the death of José caused by smallpox in 1788. The Estrela Basilica was the first church in the world dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The huge church has a giant dome, and is located in a hill in what was at the time the western part of Lisbon and can be viewed from far away. The style is similar to the Mafra National Palace, in late baroque and neoclassical. The front has two twin bell towers and includes statues of saints and some allegoric figures.

A large quantity of grey, pink and yellow marble was used in the floor and walls, in intricate geometric patterns, one of the most beautiful in European churches. Several paintings by Pompeo Batoni also contribute to a balanced design. The tomb of the Queen Mary I is on the right transept. A famous nativity scene made by sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro, with more than 500 figures in cork and terra cotta is a major attraction to visitors.

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Founded: 1779-1790
Category: Religious sites in Portugal

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Leli A (2 years ago)
Beautiful church. The park in front of is precious. Good place to stay in peace.
nick cef (2 years ago)
One of the more elaborate and beautiful churches in Lisbon. Slightly away from the more touristic area, but well worth seeing. Be sure to take a stroll around the park/garden facing the church.
Jessica August (2 years ago)
We lucked out and caught the sunset from the roof of the Basílica and we were the only people there! The woman who we paid 3€ to was sweet and unlocked the door for us to go up the spiral stairs to the top. The bell rung just as the sun was setting...truly a magical moment in Lisbon!
Susan Ramos (2 years ago)
One basilica is more impressive than the next. The art, and detail in all the sculptures is just incredibly unbelievable. The collections of art is as impressive as in any of the museums, for free!
Maheen Nusrat (3 years ago)
I loved being on top of this roof. No one was there so we had the roof to ourselves. Ticket was 4€ per person. The church itself is not as beautiful when you have seen some of the more exquisite churches in Europe, this is an ordinary one in comparison. I highly recommend going to the roof. You will of course have to climb a lot of stairs. It was 80 plus steps to climb
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