The severe Renaissance facade of this cathedral evokes a fortress. Two lofty bell towers, unadorned stone up to the summit of the balustrades, with crowning cupolas, are visible from almost any point in or around town. The second-story windows -- two rectangular and one oval -- are latticed and symmetrically surrounded by niches containing religious statuary.

On your right, you'll first find the two-story Renaissance cloister, adorned with classic pillars and arcades faced with tiles. The cathedral interior is essentially Gothic but infused with Manueline and baroque decorations. Plain, slender Romanesque columns line the nave, supporting the vaulted Manueline ceiling with nautically roped groining. The basic color scheme inside plays brilliant gilding against muted gold stone. The emphasis is on the Roman arched chancel, climaxed by an elegantly carved retable above the main altar. The chancel makes ingenious use of color counterpoint, with copper, green gold, and brownish yellow complementing the gilt work. The ceiling continues in the sacristy.