Here is everything you need to know about Lisbon’s Basílica da Estrela.
History of the Basílica da Estrela
The Estrela Basilica Basílica da Estrela is also known as the Royal Basilica and Convent of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Princess Maria I made a promise to God in front of an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to build a Church and Convent dedicated to the Sacred Heart if she would be given a child. Her son Joseph was born in 1761.
She became queen of Portugal and Brazil in 1777, and construction on the church began in 1779.
Her son, Prince Joseph died of smallpox in 1788.
Construction of the church began under the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. He died in 1785, and the church was completed under the direction of architect Reinaldo Manuel dos Santos. He added the beautiful façade, the two bell towers and the large dome on the roof.
Visitors can go to the rooftop and enjoy views of the landscape.
Inside the church you will find the tomb of Queen Maria the first, and a nativity scene made by sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro.
His nativity scene is made up of more than 500 characters made of cork and terra-cotta. It is the largest nativity scene in Portugal.
How to get to Basílica da Estrela
Address: Praça da Estrela
GPS coordinates: 38.7134° N, 9.1613° W
To get to the Basilica da Estrela via public transportation, you have several options:
You can take bus number 773, 709, or 720, which all stop at the Estrela Basilica bus stop, right in front of the church.
You can take the famous Tram 28, which stops at the Estrela Basilica tram stop, also right in front of the church.
The closest metro station to the Basílica da Estrela is Rato (Yellow Line). From there, you can take a bus or a tram to the church, or you can walk for about 15-20 minutes. This walk will take you through the Jardim da Estrela gardens.
Admission for Basílica da Estrela
Admission to the church is free. Admission to the nativity scene is 2€, and there is a 5€ charge to visit the rooftop.
You do not need to book anything in advance to visit this neoclassical and baroque style-church. It will not be crowded, and this area of town is quiet and a little out of the way for many tourists.
When is Mass at Basílica da Estrela?
Mass is held in the basilica at 8 am, noon, and 7 pm, Monday through Friday. On Saturday, Mass is held at noon and 7 pm. Sunday Mass is at 10 am, noon, and 7 pm. For Masses on Holy Days, see the church’s Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/people/Bas%C3%ADlica-da-Estrela/100064790976952/?locale=de_DE
What else is near Estrela Basilica?
- Jardim da Estrela gardens
- Marionet Museum – You can learn more about this and other museums in my article, Finding the most interesting museums in Lisbon
- Ancient Art Museum
- Prazeres Cemetery – To learn more about this peacful oasis, read my Prazeres Cemetery | Lisbon’s City of the Dead
- Last top on Lisbon’s Tram 28 – For more information, see my article Where does Tram 28 stop? All you need to know about Tram 28
I am not affiliated with any business mentioned on this page. Thank you for reading about Lisbon’s Basílica da Estrela.