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

Pedro Vila Verde (9 months ago)
Beautiful during the day and night. What to say from one of the main historical attractions of Lisbon. If you want to visit the inside, you must do it during the day.
Nikolas Petrov (9 months ago)
Insightful museum, beautiful architecture. The actual museum in the west wing is cute if you have the time, but it's probably not an exciting 'must'. Great for kids tho.
johanna (10 months ago)
Yes, very nice work on the building. The place is worth to go to and see from the outside, and also in the inside, it's pretty nice and the history that you can read is very interesting. To get in, buy a ticket at the left entrance and then get in at the right entrance. I didn't do the museums. The only thing they could improve is about all the translations.
Mark McConachie (10 months ago)
A worthwhile place to visit. The rooms and cloister are most interesting. As others have said, the ticket buying procedure is odd. You buy ticket from machines on far left entrance, then walk to middle entrance to gain entry to monastery. The church can be seen for free. Recommended.
Micho'S The Travel (10 months ago)
It is a very historical place. A church that has various art subjects which is interesting. The church is free of charge to go in, and is beautiful. But the ticketing for the monastery is not convenient and unnecessary in my opinion. If you really interested give the money and go inside and see it it looks very nice outside and I guess is the same inside the gardens!
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