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.



Your name


Founded: 1779-1790
Category: Religious sites in Portugal


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jyrki R (8 months ago)
The beautiful colors of the church all come of different colors of marble. Blue, green, pink, yellow and grey marbles carefully carved for a harmonious result. The polished marbles shine like jewels. The interior is breathtaking. (Today's prices for blue marble is 2000e/m2), The rooftop was nice, with the bells banging at five a'clock and sun setting in the Atlantic ocean.
Jurgen Schouten (8 months ago)
Royal Estrela Basilica, a beautiful church, part of a monastery. Built in 1779-1789 in Neoclassical / Baroque style for Queen Maria I of Portugal.
Anne Golhen (10 months ago)
One of the most impressive in Lisbon. You can actually climb up to the roof (for a fee)
Murat Yıkılmaz (10 months ago)
The church, which was built in the Estrela neighborhood as a dedication by Queen Maria I of Portugal, whose wish for an heir was fulfilled, takes its name from this district. Since it is dedicated to the heart of Jesus, it is also known as the Convent of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The church, which we can call the Baroque style, has a remarkable splendor and a beautiful architecture. The entrance is free, but I can say that the Bema section is viewed from a bit of a distance. There was a fee to access the terrace of the church. Since our visit was in the evening, we could not go to the roof, but I think the view is very beautiful with the Estrela park opposite. I should also point out that the huge dome of the church, located in the hilly part of the neighborhood in the west of Lisbon, can be seen from many points in the surrounding area. If you take a nice route to the church, I think you can enjoy watching this dome until you get close.
A Russo (11 months ago)
After years of passing by outside, finally went in and was pleasantly surprised. It is not a giant cathedral, but it has enough of an imposing presence to allow one to appreciate the multiple altars and cruciform architecture. Also a pleasant surprise came in the form of the possibility of climbing to the rooftop from where you can have a look around the area at a very budget friendly price. Just be sure to be away from the belltowers when the full set goes off at, for example, 11:50 on a Sunday morning.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kakesbeck Castle

Kakesbeck is one of the largest medieval fortifications in Münsterland and the oldest castle in Lüdinghausen. The imposingly grown complex originated in 1120 as a motte, a small hilltop tower castle. After numerous changes of ownership, the castle was extended onto two islands, but it was not until the 14th century that it underwent significant alterations and extensions under the von Oer family. The estate experienced its heyday in the middle of the 18th century, when it covered an area of almost one square kilometre and consisted of five further outer castles in addition to the core castle, which were secured by ramparts and moats.

The well-maintained condition of the castle today is thanks to the late Wilfried Grewing, the former lord of the castle. The foundation named after him has been particularly committed to preserving the property since 2020.