Sé de Lisboa

Cathedral in Alfama, Castelo & Graça

Image by Margot Benoot / EyeEm Getty Images

The fortress-like Sé de Lisboa is one of Lisbon’s icons, built in 1150 on the site of a mosque soon after Christians recaptured the city from the Moors. It was sensitively restored in the 1930s. Despite the masses outside, the rib-vaulted interior, lit by a rose window, is calm. Stroll around the cathedral to spy leering gargoyles above the orange trees.

History buffs shouldn’t miss the less-visited Gothic cloister, which opens onto a deep pit full of archaeological excavations going back more than 2000 years. However, €5-million renovation works expected to last at least two years have temporarily shuttered the area since late 2017. The Treasury showcases religious artwork.

The plaza in front of the church is home to one of Lisbon's most adorable kiosks, Quiosque Lisboa.