Portugal: Europe’s Underrated Architecture Haven, Portuguese Architecture Images

Portugal: Europe’s Underrated Architecture Haven

10 Aug 2020

It’s a popular holiday destination, a favourite with ex-pats and its capital city is one of the continent’s most up and coming.

But in addition to the natural charm of its stunning scenery, vibrant life (throughout the day and night) and idyllic weather, Portugal is also a sorely underrated haven of architecture.

This includes many of its older buildings, heavily influenced by the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and other architectural movements, as well as contemporary fusion styles in its cities that blend ancient and modern features in a magnificent mélange that’s still unmistakably Portuguese.

This article examines just some of Portugal’s most beautiful architectural landmarks

Portugal: Europe’s Underrated Architecture Spot


Some of the most significant and well-known architectural landmarks in Portugal are its religious buildings. Its devout history as a Catholic country is reflected in its many churches, cathedrals and convents.

Amongst its most notable are the Church of Sao Domingos and Carmo Convent, both of which still bear the legacy of the 1531 and 1755 earthquakes which caused significant damage to the country.

The Church of Sao Domingos, formerly a common venue for Portuguese royal weddings, also retains signs of the 1959 fire in spite of renovations undertaken in the 90s – for example, the damage includes scorch marks on many of the building’s pillars. The macabre effect looks like something straight out of a ghost story, whilst its religious artwork and sculptures contribute to the reverent atmosphere of the Church’s enduring survival.

Castles and Palaces

There are many places a curious traveller can find evidence of Portugal’s rich history around the country, and its castles and palaces are amongst its most remarkable structures.

Pena Palace in the region of Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera, is distinguished by bright colours which make the building’s outer façade comparable to the closing scene of a Disney film. Vibrant, but not tawdry, the Palace overlooks the Parque de Pena.

Rather more traditional in appearance, the Castelo dos Mouros, or ‘Castle of the Moors,’ is also located in Sintra. Situated high above the town and surrounded by lush greens and boulders, the castle was originally built somewhere around the 8th or 9th century, but its exterior was restored by King Ferdinand II in the 19th century.


Portugal attracts residents from across the world, and it’s easy to see why.

Aside from its pleasant climate and lively culture, the residential architecture of Portugal is an essential and instantly recognisable component of its landscape, with rows and rows of white houses, so bright the sunlight seems to bounce off them.

Many of these buildings are often colourful, and distinctive for their understated, rustic feel. Portuguese residential architecture ranges from flats and apartments to beautiful beachside houses.

The country’s fast developing property market is open to internal investment, which is highly encouraged through the Golden Visa program. Real estate experts Property Lisbon specialise in sourcing properties which meet the requirements of this citizenship by investments scheme, which confers EU as well as Portuguese citizenship.

Whether you’re visiting Portugal or considering living there, you’ll find plenty of pristine properties that slake your thirst for awe-inspiring design aesthetics.

Comments on this Portugal: Europe’s Underrated Architecture Haven article are welcome.

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