The Torre de Belém is a defensive tower on the Tagus, built between 1515 and 1521. It is a splendid example of the so-called Manueline, named after King Manuel under whose rule this tower was built.
The Manueline style is characterized by a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Moorish influences. Not long after the construction of the tower, Portugal became part of Spain and the tower was used as a prison. The dungeons were regularly flooded. Originally this tower was situated on a sandbank in the Tagus, but after the earthquake of 1755 the course of the river changed and the defense is now on the mainland.
The Belém Tower was built when Portugal was at the height of its power. In the tower there are many references to the voyages of discovery of Portuguese seafarers. There is a statue of a rhino, probably the first image of that animal in Western European art. There is also a statue of the Virgin Mary, intended as protection for the sailors.
Inside you'll enter the commander's room on the first floor and the King's Hall on the second floor. On the third floor you have a nice view over Lisbon, but the most beautiful view of the surroundings and some famous sights in Lisbon can be found on the top floor. There is also a small prayer room. Are you planning to cycle in Lisbon? You can enjoy a nice ride along the TagusRiver in the direction of Belém. On this route you will find a number of special places of interest.
Website: Torre de Belém
Address: Avenida da India
Opening hours: 10.00-17.00 (closed on Mondays)
Consult the Torre de Belém website for up-to-date price information and opening hours.