Ancient Architecture in Portugal

July 24th 2023 in Guide
Ancient Architecture in Portugal

Ancient Cities in Portugal: A Brief History of Portugal’s Architecture

Portugal is a country with a rich and diverse history, reflected in its architecture and urban design. From the prehistoric megaliths to the modern skyscrapers, Portugal has many ancient cities that showcase its cultural and artistic heritage. Here are some of the must-see historical sites in Portugal that you should not miss.


Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal, and one of the oldest cities in the world. Lisbon has a long and turbulent history, marked by invasions, earthquakes, fires, and revolutions. Lisbon has many architectural stles and influences, such as Roman, Moorish, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Modernist. Lisbon has many landmarks and monuments that attest to its history and beauty, such as the Castle of São Jorge, the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, the Santa Justa Lift, the Rossio Square, and the 25 de Abril Bridge.


Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal, and the home of the famous port wine. Porto is located on the Douro River, and has a charming and colorful old town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Porto has a distinctive architecture that combines medieval, Baroque, Romantic, and Art Nouveau elements. Porto has many attractions and sights that you should visit, such as the Cathedral, the Clérigos Tower, the São Bento Railway Station, the Lello Bookstore, the Ribeira District, and the Dom Luís I Bridge.


Évora is a city in the Alentejo region of Portugal, and one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the country. Évora was founded by the Romans, and later became a major cultural and religious center under the Moors and the Portuguese kings. Évora has many historical and architectural treasures that date back to different periods and civilizations, such as the Roman Temple, the Cathedral, the Bones Chapel, the Giraldo Square, and the University.


Coimbra is a city in central Portugal that was once the capital of the country and the seat of its first university. Coimbra is a city of culture and learning, with a rich literary and artistic tradition. Coimbra has many monuments and buildings that reflect its history and importance, such as the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coimbra also has the Old Cathedral, the New Cathedral, the Santa Cruz Monastery, and the Machado de Castro Museum.


Sintra is a town near Lisbon that is famous for its romantic and fairy-tale-like atmosphere. Sintra is surrounded by lush green hills and forests, dotted with palaces and castles that evoke different eras and stles. Sintra was a favorite destination for royalty and nobility who built their summer residences there. Sintra has many attractions that you should see, such as the Pena Palace, which is a colorful mixture of Gothic, Manueline, Moorish, and Renaissance elements. Sintra also has the Moorish Castle, the Quinta da Regaleira, the Monserrate Palace, and the National Palace.

These are just some of the ancient cities in Portugal that you should visit if you are interested in Portugal’s architecture and history. There are many more historical sites that you can discover and enjoy in this beautiful country.