Estrela Basilica
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Estrela Basilica

Welcome to the Basílica da Estrela, a magnificent symbol of Lisbon's rich cultural and religious heritage. In the heart of the city, this grand basilica stands as a testament to Portugal's devotion to art, architecture, and spirituality. Constructed in the late 18th century, the Basílica da Estrela is an architectural masterpiece, showcasing a stunning blend of Baroque and Neoclassical styles.

As you approach the basilica, you'll be awe-struck by its imposing façade adorned with intricate carvings and majestic columns. Step inside, and you'll be greeted by a soaring nave adorned with exquisite marble altars, gilded statues, and dazzling chandeliers. The highlight of the interior is undoubtedly the magnificent dome, which rises majestically above the altar, bathed in golden light.

But the Basílica da Estrela offers more than just architectural splendour. It is also home to the tomb of Queen Maria I and her husband, King Pedro III, adding a sense of history and regality to the space. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an art lover, or a devout pilgrim, visiting the Basílica da Estrela promises an unforgettable experience steeped in beauty, spirituality, and cultural significance.


Estrela Basilica

Estrela Basilica aerial view

The Basílica da Estrela's history is deeply intertwined with the life of Queen Maria I (1734–1816), a monarch who ruled over a vast empire, including Brazil. Facing pressure from competing factions within the nobility to secure the throne, Maria longed for an heir. Her prayers were answered when she gave birth to Prince José in 1761, prompting her to commission the basilica as an expression of gratitude.

Construction commenced in 1779 under the oversight of architects Mateus Vicente de Oliveira and Reinaldo Manuel de Sousa. However, tragedy struck in 1788 when Prince José succumbed to smallpox at the age of 27, just two years before the basilica's completion. Queen Maria, devastated by the loss, found solace in the basilica, where her final resting place lies.

Constructed in a neoclassical style reminiscent of the National Palace in Mafra, the basilica stands as a testament to Maria's devotion and legacy. Today, it is revered as one of Lisbon's most ornate churches and a masterpiece of European architecture, drawing visitors from far and wide to admire its grandeur and historical significance.


The interior is equally impressive as the exterior. The floor is made with beautiful grey, pink and yellow marble laid in a geometric design. Some paintings by Italian Neoclassical artist Pompeo Batoni adorn the pink and grey marble walls. In the right transept is the elaborate empire-style tomb of Queen Maria I. Inside too is the presépio, an elaborate 500-piece nativity scene made of cork and terracotta that dates from the 18th century. It is the creation of sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro. This large nativity scene is on permanent display in a room next to the Queens tomb.
(Presépio: Tuesday – Saturday: 10h00 – 11h30/15h00 – 17h00, €1.50

If gazing up into the cupola doesn't make you feel queazy you may opt to climb the 112 steps to the roof viewing terrace (Miradouro da Basílica da Estrela). From the top, there are amazing views over West Lisbon and the river Tejo (Tagus). Far below the bells from the trams 25 or 28 chimes as they chug by.
(Miradouro da Basílica da Estrela: Daily: 10h00 – 18h40, €4.00
(Basilica: Daily: 17h30 – 19h45, FREE

Yellow Bus Tour
Estrela Basilica - Interior

Estrela Basilica - Interior

Basilica da Estrela - Roof Terrace

Miradouro da Basílica da Estrela

Contact Details
Praça da Estrela, Lisbon 1200-667, Portugal.
38° 42' 49.3" N | 09° 09' 38.7" W


Urban train services (comboios urbanos) to Santos train station one mile South from the centre of Estrela:
• Cascais/Cais do Sodré line Timetable

Trains of Portugal Website
The nearest metro station is a 15 minute walk along the Avenida Álvares Cabra from Rato:
Carris bus routes to Belém from various areas around the city: Carris Website
• 706: Cais Sodré - Estação Sta. Apolónia: Timetable
• 709: Restauradores - Campo Ourique (Prazeres): Timetable
• 713: Alameda D. A. Henriques - Estação Campolide: Timetable
• 714: Pç. Figueira - Outurela: Timetable
• 720: Picheleira, R. Dr. Faria Vasconcelos - Alto Sto. Amaro: Timetable
• 727: Estação Roma-Areeiro - Restelo, Av. Descobertas: Timetable
• 738: Qta. Barros - Alto Sto. Amaro: Timetable
• 25E: Pç. Figueira - Campo Ourique (Prazeres): Timetable
• 28E: Praça Martim Moniz - Campo Ourique (Prazeres): Timetable