Basílica da Estrela (Star Basilic)
This structure, whose construction fulfilled a vow, has an imposing appearance while its interior remains cool and peaceful. Discover why.
Magnificent and splendid.
Its impressive dome is one of the references that travellers use to find their way, being visible from most city locations. The reason for its magnificence lies in the fulfilment of a royal vow. As it happened, Queen Mary I promised to build a glorious temple if God allowed her to bear a male heir to inherit the throne. Thus, after putting Prince Joseph in the cradle, work began on this temple located in the Praça da Estrela, aptly combining baroque and neoclassical styles. The construction was finished in 1790 albeit the heir died two years earlier from chickenpox. In any case, the result did not fall short of the royal gratitude and its interior, decorated in grey, pink and yellow marble, instils a strange feeling of peace and coolness. The temple holds a nativity scene of sculptor Machado de Castro, author of the equestrian statue of Jose I in Plaça del Comercio, with nearly 500 figures.