Formerly known as Igreja dos Homens do Mar (Church of the Men of the Sea), this edifice has its origins in a primitive chapel, already in existence in the 16th century on the same site, which was dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Socorro (Our Lady of Help).
In 1587, the then Fishermen’s Hospital became part of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia, leaving the seafarers with the church as their only source of confraternity. By the middle of the 17th century, the chapel became the seat of the parish whilst building works were being carried out on the main parish church of Assunção.
In 1720 (c.) the Irmandade dos Marítimos de Cascais (Maritime Brotherhood of Cascais) ordered the construction of the church, most likely on the site of the existing 16th century chapel, under the auspices of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres (Our Lady of Pleasures), and S. Pedro Gonçalves, possibly designed by Fr. João Tinoco.
The church withstood the great earthquake of 1755 and in 1873, the so-called “little church of maritime men” kept the invocation of São Pedro Gonçalves.
On the 9th of August 1942 the church towers, funded both by material and monetary donations, were finally inaugurated, and the time-honoured procession of Our Lady of the Seafarers, which had possibly been interrupted in 1834, resumed. This celebration continues to this day, taking place annually in August.
It is one of the rare 18th-century Portuguese churches in which the nave has an octagonal shape that is not hinted at from the exterior.
From the outside, it is a modest Baroque building, featuring a pediment with a countercurved finish and small wings joining the main façade to the sides. The towers were designed by the architect Tertuliano Marques.
The interior features white and rose marble from São Domingos de Rana.
The octagonal nave has three side altars, two of them from the Carmelite convent: Nossa Senhora da Piedade on the left; Our Lady of Fátima and Saint Teresa of Ávila on the right-hand side.
The church features four main paintings, two on either side. On the right is the Adoration of the Magi and Saints Paul and John the Evangelist, and on the left is the Birth of Jesus and Saints Peter and Andrew.
The side walls of the chancel feature two tiled panels from (c.) 1720. Our Lady of Pleasures is on the left-hand side, and St Pedro Gonçalves is on the right.
Travessa dos Navegantes, 16
The church is only open for celebrations.