The Leça da Palmeira Matrix Church was built at the very time Portugal was founded. It then became known as the “Church of S. Miguel de Moroça”. This old construction is small and hugs the ground. Built in worked stone, both inside and outside, the thick walls and buttresses are very much in line with the architectural traditions of the time. Indeed, the old Church of Cedofeita in Oporto, or any other Romanesque building, shares a very similar design.
Given that there is no other trace of Romanesque building in Leça da Palmeira, despite much searching, the most probable hypothesis is that the original matrix was destroyed with rebuilding of the current construction carried out between 1568 and 1578 on the orders of king Sebastião.
Within, the gold leafed, carved altarpiece in the main chapel is truly exuberant bursting forth with its Salomonic columns and vine leafs and grapes, doves, acanthus leaves and winged heads.