Cascais, in the Estoril region of Portugal, is much more than a touristy coastal town. In addition to its stunning beaches, Cascais is an architectural treasure with a unique mix of styles and historical periods. In this article, we explore some architectural projects in Cascais, highlighting architects, emblematic buildings, museums and the influence of different styles over the centuries.


Military and historical heritage – fortresses and open-air museums

Cascais has a unique history, evident in its fortresses that bear witness to centuries of events. The 16th century Fortaleza da Cidadela, originally built to protect the bay, is now an open-air museum, offering a glimpse into the past. Forte de Oitavos, on the other hand, has undergone a meticulous architectural restoration and now houses exhibitions that recreate life at the time.

As far as museums in Cascais are concerned, the Casa de Santa Maria, with the Torre de São Sebastião, is an outstanding example, bearing witness to Raul Lino’s architectural vision. Also noteworthy is the Museu do Mar, which celebrates the city’s deep connection with the ocean, displaying a collection that includes old maps, fishermen’s clothing and shipwreck treasures.

Cascais also has churches with significant architectural value. The Igreja dos Navegantes, with its octagonal baroque architecture, pays homage to the patron saints of sailors. The Church of Santo António do Estoril, rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake and fires, stands out for its preserved tiles and baroque façade.


From popular to modernist architecture

Cascais’ architectural diversity goes beyond historic structures. Summer architecture, which emerged in the 19th century, spread along the coast, marking an era of distinct aesthetic choices. On the other hand, modernist architecture, present from the 1930s onwards, brought a functional approach inspired by international trends, especially in Estoril.

Similarly, the historic farms, remnants of periods of recreation and agricultural production, represent a unique part of Cascais’ heritage. From military architecture with maritime fortifications to religious architecture with decorated temples, it can be said that Cascais is a true open-air architectural museum.

In conclusion, architects in Cascais and throughout Portugal have the task of preserving and enriching a unique architectural heritage. The fusion of historic and contemporary buildings creates a visual experience that makes Cascais not just a tourist destination, but a living testimony to architectural evolution over the centuries.

Looking for an architectural project in Cascais? Trust the expert team at MJARC Arquitetos. Contact us and ask for your personalized quote!