Santa Quitéria de Meca Church (Alenquer)
Address / Largo de Santa Quitéria
2580-181 Meca (Alenquer)
Just a few kilometres from Alenquer, the basilica was built by the fraternity of Santa Quitéria de Meca, in the mid-18th century, under the royal protection of Dona Maria I. Santa Quitéria is a perfect model and example of neoclassical architecture with its roots to be found in the building work undertaken at the convent of Mafra. It bears a close stylistic resemblance to the Basílica da Estrela and the Basílica de Santo António da Sé, both of which are contemporary buildings. In its single-nave interior, there are various paintings of great artistic merit to be admired, attributed to Pedro Alexandrino de Carvalho and António Narciso. Another most interesting piece is the organ in the choir, which dates from 1816. Every year the festival of the blessing of the cattle is held here, a very old tradition of pagan origin and an event of enormous ethnological significance.