The municipality is home to an innumerable amount of religious temples. Some of them are renowned for their architectural and historical value.
Our Lady of Grace Cathedral (Setúbal Cathedral )
The rebuilding of this cathedral replaced the original Romano-Gothic construction, built in the 13th century.
There is a tall, robust tower on either side of the imposing façade, with a Serlian entrance.
Inside the temple the Tuscan order columns stand out, as well as the mid-18th century ceiling and the late-18th century frescos. The side altars, the gilded woodcarving in the main chapel and the “azulejos” (traditional tiles) also date back to the late 18th century.
Church of St. Julian
Church of St. JulianThe foundations date back to the 13th century, however, after being damaged by several earthquakes which struck the region, it was transformed during the 16th and 18th centuries.
Two portals from the Manueline reconstruction period have survived to this day.
Inside, in addition to the main chapel, we find a stone wall covered with painted tiles telling the story of St. Julian
Church of St. Simon
Located in Vila Fresca de Azeitão, this church dates back to the 16th century.
Its current layout shows the innumerable refurbishments carried out over the years, partly due to the earthquakes that have struck the region.
It has remarkable tiles – typical of the 17th century – which cover the walls entirely.
It is one of the most popular churches for ceremonies such as baptisms and weddings.
Church of St. Lawrence
The Church of St. Lawrence is located in Vila Nogueira de Azeitão, and although it was originally built in the 14th century, the current construction dates back to the 16th century.
The external simplicity contrasts with an interior that is covered in azulejos, with paintings of the life of St. Lawrence.
In 1938 it was listed as a “building of public interest”.
Convent of Jesus Church
The Church of Jesus is considered to be the first hall church built in Portugal, designed as a single, isotropic space, i.e., homogeneously illuminated.
The church’s first apse is believed to have been finished in 1495, as it was completed not long after the death of King John II, during the reign of King Manuel, who ordered for three vaulted naves to be constructed instead of the original plans for a singular nave with a wooden roof.
Church of St. Sebastian
The former temple of St. Sebastian was built around the year 1490, with the help of fishermen and other worshippers from the town of Setúbal. This religious building was located in the centre of what is now Miradouro Square. It was considerably damaged by the 1755 earthquake and ended up being demolished between 1849 and 1857.
The parish of S. Sebastião was created in the former chapel by an archiepiscopal letter from 1553. It remained there until 1821, when, due to the deterioration of the temple, it was transferred to the Church of Grilos and, later, to the church of the extinct Convent of St. Dominic, which is now the main church of the parish.
The neoclassical interior of the church is particularly noteworthy.