Belém Tower

Lisbon, Portugal

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yana Popovych (2 years ago)
Breathtaking place. Definitely worth to visit. I was impressed to see the castle in the water, and this small beach where you can take a photo in front of the castle. Might be too crowded. Also, there is a nice park nearby, and many other sightseeing are very close
We3 Travels (2 years ago)
Such a beautiful tower. It's amazing how it's held up over the course of time and the stories it could tell. Beautiful day, not a lot of people. Nice that there is a large green space to relax and just take it in (not supposed to bring dogs, but some people do). Oh, and there is a bathroom near the road.
Joel Fornes (2 years ago)
Such a beautiful scenery. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage tower was once the port of embarkation for Portuguese explorers and a ceremonial gateway to the capital. These cloudy sunset made the place even more magical and special. Nevertheless, what fascinated me the most was the little bay with waves constantly splashing to our feet.
Andy Wertz (2 years ago)
How charming and delightful! It is a trek to get to from Lisbon center proper but we’ll worth the trip. Take the train three stops and you are there. At low tide, one can walk across the sand to the tower. It is closed on Mondays. The tower is a fine example of Manuelian architecture and while small, very beautiful. The nearby park is a great place to relax for a while after the monastery or many of the museums.
Coralie Pattenden (2 years ago)
Such a gorgeous tower on the sea. Lovely to visit inside as well and get great views. The ticket office is in the park and you need a ticket to go inside. Otherwise it is free to admire from the outside. Someone was playing the violin outside which really added to the experience.
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