The basilica is the central point of the main façade, flanked by two bell towers. It was designed by João Frederico Ludovice, a German goldsmith who, after a long stay in Italy, designed it in the Italian baroque style.
Built in limestone from the region – Sintra, Pêro Pinheiro and Mafra - the Basilica has the form of a Latin cross and is 58.5 m long and 43 m wide. The dome is 65m high, with a 13m diameter. It was
the first dome ever built in Portugal.
Basilica Interior Dome
In the main chapel a painting by Francesco Trevisani represents the Virgin, Jesus and St. Anthony, to whom the church is dedicated. The marble retables of the side chapels, Holy Family (south) and Blessed Sacrament (north) and the six collateral chapels are attributed to Alessandro Giusti from the Mafra school of sculpture, and his disciples.
Main Chapel The Holy Family The Annunciation
The Basilica’s other high points are the ensemble of statues made by Italian masters by order of the king - the most significant collection of baroque Italian sculpture outside Italy - and the six historical organs, commissioned at the end of the 18th century by king João VI from the organ-makers Machado Cerveira and Peres Fontanes, to replace the original ones.
The 6 organs