Belém Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery) because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries. The tower was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defence system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.

The tower was built around 1514 by Francisco de Arruda and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and a 30-metre, four-storey tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus River near the Lisbon shore.

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Founded: 1514
Category: Castles and fortifications in Portugal

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User Reviews

藍海婷Hai Ting (11 months ago)
Second visit here and simply amazing little structure. If you get the chance then definitely worth the money in. Try and go super early as it can get crowded = spoil the experience. Close to bus / tram /train stop and with the famous Nata shop close by you won't have an excuse for not visiting !
Matthias Rodamer (11 months ago)
Even during the low season it is a quit place but it is definitely worth it to go there. Here you can see all the influence that was taken in this harbor in former decades. It is really interesting to see the architecture of this building. You definitely have to visit this place when you are in Lisbon! Just look out for the Romans, they are trying to get money from you for the parking lot.
Monique de Vos (11 months ago)
Even though there isn't a lot to see inside of the tower, going there on a sunny day is definitely worth it. Even though it's facing a river, there is an added sense of sea and relaxation that is woven through the tower and the park. Combine that feeling with a piece of inspiring history, and you get the Belém Tower. Going inside the tower is free with your Lisboa card.
Manu Mathew (12 months ago)
It seems very popular. Although it's really nice to look at its a bit too touristy. The neighbourhood is great to hangout. Many small attractions to go around and admire. Don't pay to go inside any! Taking a walk around the place is pretty great to have a good day
mei kingi (13 months ago)
Easy public transportation to the monument. Was extremely busy so never actually went it. Wandered the amazing exterior on the beach front and further surroundings and spoke in length with the many tourists exiting and locals whom said that it's definitely worth a visit but during quieter time. I did enjoy the walk outside as there is still much to see for free and no bustle of queue's.
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