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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Details

Founded: 1779-1790
Category: Religious sites in Portugal

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lucas Barbosa (12 months ago)
Not too ornate or barroque as it is described, but indeed an interesting visit through the city. I can say that for religious people (I mostly visit churches out of historical curiosity) the place is peaceful and good for a meditation or prayer. The ornaments, statues and architecture are simple, but graceful. What mostly caught my attention was the ceiling, which is beautiful for a church of this size. Worth a visit.
Yushin Pyeong (12 months ago)
Breathetaking. This one IS impressive unlike Santiago compostela.. called basilica for a very good reason. Must visit.
Justin Mulder (12 months ago)
Incredible, we are truly blessed, in a wonderful city with the most beautiful experiences.
Chris Szabo (14 months ago)
Beautiful and architecturally wonderful Basilica - on the opposite side of the road enjoy the tranquil gardens.
Juliette Dutheil (2 years ago)
My favorite place in Lisbon. We could go in the roof of the basilic for 3€. The entrance is on the right when get in the basilic
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