Founded in 1147, Lisbon Cathedral is one of the city’s great landmarks and also one of the symbols of the Christian Reconquest of the territory.
The Cathedral was built when the first king of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques, conquered the city from the Moors, in 1147. Previously, the site was occupied by a Muslim mosque.
In architectural terms, it was originally built in accordance with the Romanesque style of that time, a style that can also be seen at the old cathedral in Coimbra, although in the following centuries it underwent a major transformation with additions being made in the Gothic style, most notably in the case of the deambulatory, built at the orders of Dom Afonso IV (1291-1357) to act as his family pantheon.
Amongst the most notable features of the inside of the cathedral are the private chapel of Bartolomeu Joanes, an important member of the bourgeoisie in mediaeval Lisbon, and the irregularly shaped cloister, an innovative work in the Portuguese Gothic style, built at the orders of the king Dom Dinis (1261-1325).
In the 17th and 18th centuries, alterations were made in the baroque style, especially affecting the decoration of the altars and chancel. In the first half of the 20th century, work was carried out to restore the cathedral’s mediaeval aspect.