The Baroque church of Sant' Antonio dei Portoghesi, which is the national church of Portugal, was completed in 1638 by the Roman architect Martino Longhi the Younger (1602-60). His fellow architect Carlo Rainaldi (1611-91) was responsible for the design of most of the interior.
The beautiful facade is crowned with the coat of arms of the Most Serene House of Braganza, which ruled the Kingdom of Portugal until 1910. The house was founded by Alfonso I, first duke of Braganza, who is the subject of the fresco in the vault of the nave. On July 25th 1139, at the Battle of Ourique, the forces of Alfonso defeated a superior Muslim army and established the independence of Portugal. During the battle Alfonso is said to have had a vision of the Crucifixion, which is depicted in the fresco.
The church of Sant' Antonio dei Portoghesi is dedicated to St Anthony of Padua (less commonly known as St Anthony of Lisbon) and the altarpiece on the high altar depicts the Appearance of theVirgin and Child to St Anthony (1707), the work of Giacinto Calandrucci (1646-1707).
St Anthony (1195-1231), who is the patron saint of Portugal, was born in Lisbon and died in the Italian city of Padua. He was canonised on May 30th 1232, less than a year after his death. His feast day is June 13th.