From Praça da Ribeira rises a tangle of medieval alleys and stairways that eventually reach the hulking, hilltop fortress of the cathedral. Founded in the 12th century, it was largely rebuilt a century later and then extensively altered during the 18th century. However, you can still make out the church’s Romanesque origins in the barrel-vaulted nave. Inside, a rose window and a 14th-century Gothic cloister also remain from its early days.
History lends the cathedral gravitas – this is where Dom João I married his beloved Philippa of Lancaster in 1387, and where Prince Henry the Navigator was baptised in 1394, the fortune of far-flung lands but a distant dream.