sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

Housed within the walls of the Cidade Velha, the sé was completed in 1251, on what was probably the site of a Roman temple, then a Visigoth cathedral and then a Moorish mosque. Only the tower gate and several chapels remain of the original Romanesque-Gothic exterior – the rest was destroyed in 1755. It was rebuilt in a polygamy of Gothic, Renaissance and baroque styles, with intense gilded carving alongside elaborate tilework inside. The baroque organ is worth noting. Climb up to the rooftop miradouro (lookout) for views across the pretty walled town to the sea. If you’re lucky, you might see storks nesting in the bell towers. The cathedral buildings also house the Museu Capitular , with an assortment of sacred artwork (vestments, chalices, saint statues in glass boxes) and a small 18th-century shrine built of bones to remind you of your mortality.