Let’s use this article, to give you some tips on the best places to visit in Belem ( Lisbon ), Portugal.
Torre de Belem ( Belem Tower )
The Belem Tower was built in the Manueline style in the 16th century by the Portuguese architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda, a merely defensive construction that was built during time of D. Joao II of Portugal, the Tower was also called Baluarte de Sao Vicente
In the Tagus River a ship was anchored to defend the city, however this defensive set with two other forts was the option desired by D. João II, to protect Lisbon.
The works were in charge of Diogo Boitaca also responsible for the construction of the Jeronimos Monastery, the tower was only finished in 1520 and had other uses than just protection, such as customs post, lighthouse and even a prison. It was during the reign of Philip II of Spain, (Philip I of Portugal) that the tower was used as a prison, more precisely for political prisoners.
In 1907 the Torre de Belem was classified as a National Monument and in 1983 it was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a very nice place to see the sunset.
Undoubtedly, its exterior is unmissable, its Islamic influences and Manueline style, with elements that allude to the time of sea expeditions.Its interior consists of five floors, which are included; governor’s room, kings’ room, audience room, chapel and finally the tower terrace, with a wonderful view of the city.
The Jeronimos Monastery, considered one of the most beautiful monasteries in Europe, built by the Portuguese king Dom Manuel I, the construction of the Monastery took over 90 years to complete in 1907, the Jerónimos Monastery was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, no doubt one of the best places to visit in Belem.
The Jeronimos Monastery is one of the most important monuments of Manueline architecture and also has beautiful gardens and fountains. Also considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal in 2007, receiving almost one million visitors each year.
Dom Manuel I and his descendants are supultated in the main chapel of the Church and in some side chapels of the monastery.
Padrao dos Descobrimentos
The Padrao dos Descobrimentos in Lisbon located on the banks of the Tagus River is more of a suggestion than visiting Belem.
A symbol of the glorious Portuguese past, during the period of maritime expansion, a tribute to the brave Portuguese navigators, also portraying some of the supporters of this period, poets, navigators and other characters.
The Monument to the Discoveries was raised in 1960 by the Italian architect Cottinelli Telmo to immortalize the figure of Infante Dom Henrique and his sailors in the difficult task of exploring the world.
The Monument is 56 meters high, portraying different historical characters on both sides, as well as Infante Dom Henrique, Bartolomeu Dias, Fernão de Magalhães, Vasco da Gama, Luís de Camões, Queen Filipa de Lencastre, Gil Eanes, King Afonso V from Portugal, Pedro Álvares Cabral, 32 statues honoring the explorers and participants in these episodes, as writers, painters and missionaries.
You can climb to the highest point of the monument, having an incredible view of Lisbon, the Tagus, the Belém Tower of Lisbon, the Jerónimos Monastery, the Palace of Belém. On the floor a wind rose, (South African gift) decorated with marbles of different colors.
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