Apr 22, 2023

Cathedral of St. Mary Major in Lisbon

Cathedral of St. Mary Major in Lisbon

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Major (Sé de Lisboa) is the oldest and most important church in Lisbon, dating back to the 12th century. It is the seat of the Patriarchate of Lisbon. Situated on a hill, it provides stunning views of the city and the Tagus River. It is located in the Alfama neighborhood, the oldest and most traditional district of Lisbon.


Built: 1147

The Lisbon Cathedral was built in the 12th century shortly after Lisbon was taken from the Moors by the Portuguese Christian forces. It has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries, with the most significant one being the rebuilding after the 1755 earthquake that devastated the city.


The cathedral's architecture is a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles, due to the several renovations it has undergone over the centuries. The cathedral's most notable features are its twin towers and the rose window over the main portal. The interior is equally impressive, with a nave lined with chapels, an impressive baptismal font, and a treasury that contains some of the cathedral's most valuable artifacts.


Cross of St. Anthony

In this Cathedral, St. Anthony received baptism, attended his first studies, and joined the choir. It also has a famous cross of St. Anthony engraved on the wall of the staircase to the high choir. According to legend, St. Anthony, who studied at the cathedral when he was a child, drew the sign of the cross on this spot to repel the devil when he was tempted here. This was the first of the many miracles that St. Anthony performed.

Relics of St. Vincent

Vincent of Saragossa was born in Huesca, Spain, in the 3rd century. He was executed by Emperor Diocletian in 304 for refusing to worship the pagan gods and suffered torture before his death. After the Muslim invasion, his remains were placed in a boat that drifted at sea and eventually arrived at Cape Sagres' coast. Today, one of the most important items in the Cathedral's Treasury is the reliquary containing St. Vincent's remains.