Jerónimos Monastery

Lisbon, Portugal

The Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon. It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Tower of Belém, in 1983.

The Jeronimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal's power and wealth during the Age of Discovery. King Manuel I built it in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama's voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success. Vasco da Gama's tomb was placed inside by the entrance, as was the tomb of poet Luis de Camões, author of the epic The Lusiads in which he glorifies the triumphs of Da Gama and his compatriots. Other great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano.

Jeronimos Monastery Cloisters The monastery was populated by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome, whose spiritual job was to give guidance to sailors and pray for the king's soul. It is one of the great triumphs of European Gothic, with much of the design characterized by elaborate sculptural details and maritime motifs. This style of architecture became known as Manueline, a style of art that served to glorify the great discoveries of the age.

The cloisters are magnificent, each column differently carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs evocative of that time of world exploration at sea. Here is also the entrance to the former refectory that has beautiful reticulated vaulting and tile decoration on the walls depicting the Biblical story of Joseph.

The church interior is spacious with octagonal piers richly decorated with reliefs, and outside is a garden laid out in 1940 consisting of hedges cut in the shape of various municipal coats of arms of Portugal. In the center is a large fountain also decorated with coats of arms, often illuminated on special occasions.

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Details

Founded: 1502
Category: Religious sites in Portugal

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

BSN (2 years ago)
“If you really want to see more, this is the best place for you in Lisbon” such a masterpiece of architecture and art. It's powerful! From exterior to interior, every wall, window, arch, and ceiling is so beautiful and elegant, full of detail and creativity. This is a must see place in Lisbon. Along with the garden, the church inside is also very beautiful.
Davide Messina (2 years ago)
Nice but in peak season you need to consider a waiting line of 1h at least, under the sun. The place inside is quite nice but the access is granted only in common part, the price of the ticket is too high for what you can visit. I feel it's not worthy the wait to visit a square corridor. Visit the church, it's free of charge and it's much better.
Samad Golzari (2 years ago)
The exterior of the monetary is very beautiful. There was a long line when we arrived but the line moves fast. We had not bought the tickets already so I tried to get them online. A bit of hard work. The inside garden and fountain are were pacifying and relaxing, especially in the heat of the summer. Place for enjoying the quiet and making some beautiful photos.
Akhil Dakinedi (2 years ago)
The architecture of this place is truly stunning. The finest example of Manueline architecture anywhere. It's hard to notice, but every column on the lower level of the cloister actually has a unique pattern and design. And then every side of the cloister has a different arch design on the upper levels. Pretty crazy how much detail and ornamentation is packed into the arches and ceilings with just one texture and tone to work with. Definitely worth the €10.00 entry fee. Buy your ticket online and completely skip the ticket line, you can walk right in.
David Behbahani (2 years ago)
Stopped here based on recommended spots in Lisbon. It's split into two parts, one is where you paid to enter and see the entire monastery and the other just inside the church which is free. It's about 10 euros to check out the paid portion, which is still worth it. The lines move pretty quick. Definitely a great location to check out.
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