Igreja de S. Martinho (St. Martinho Church), Sintra

Igreja de S. Martinho (St. Martinho Church), Sintra

In 1147, King Afonso Henriques conquered Sintra. He ordered the construction of at least four Christian churches near the newly captured palace. In 1241, mainly because of the church's proximity to the palace, the St. Martinho Church was granted the status of Cathedral.

Ironically, the church prospered during the the time of the bubonic plague. Rich citizens who died willed their wealth to the church. King Manuel himself had willed personal funds for the maintenance of Saint Martin's Church.

In the devastating Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The roof collapsed. The church remained in ruins until the king, Joseph I, grew tired of seeing it on his way to the palace. He urged the prime minister, the Marquis de Pombal, to restore it. Pombal hired architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira for the job.

The restored church is a single vessel building with an oversized square bell tower. The tower is in two sections. The lower section has clocks and the upper section has a carillon behind four arched portals. The top of the tower has spires at each corner and a small dome and spire in the center.

The interior is a single nave with a vaulted ceiling. The ceiling is painted to give the illusion of marble and stucco designs. The arch over the altar is decorated with paintings of the Passion of Christ by Sintra artist Diogo de Contreiras. The altar is Baroque. It has gilded sculptures in niches and statues of Saints Martin and Anthony.

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Igreja de S. Martinho (St. Martinho Church) on Map

Sight Name: Igreja de S. Martinho (St. Martinho Church)
Sight Location: Sintra, Portugal (See walking tours in Sintra)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Sintra, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Sintra

Create Your Own Walk in Sintra

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sintra is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sintra Introduction Walking Tour

Sintra Introduction Walking Tour

Traces of humanity in Sintra date back to Paleolithic times. At an open air site near the church of Sao Pedro de Canaferrim and the Moorish Castle there were found ceramics from 5,000 BC. The name Sintra is indo-European. It means "bright star" or "sun." Romans called the place "sacred mountain." Ptolemy called it "mountains of the moon."

In 1147 the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Pena Palace and Moorish Castle Tour

Pena Palace and Moorish Castle Tour

A charming little township on the outskirts of Lisbon, Sintra is a place where there's something for everyone. As if straight out of a fairy tale, this area is a home to several magnificent castles, palaces and gardens, the grandiosity of which fits for a king; and it has been a firm favorite of Portuguese royals since the late 15th century.

The diversity of styles found here is rich –...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles