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

Andrew Frankos-Rey (11 months ago)
The architecture of the monastery is beautiful. I would have found €10 for just the monastery to be very expensive; however, the €12 price for the combination ticket with the museum of archeology felt right. I would have preferred if there were some explanations of the history of what we were seeing; there was virtually no descriptions of the spaces, but the beauty could be appreciated in its own. I wouldn't plan on more than 2 hours for both the monastery and the archeology museum. Come early; when we left around noon there were substantial lines for tickets. All said, I'm very glad we went to visit, but the experience could certainly be improved.
Ewa K. Malia (12 months ago)
Amazing quiet place. I guess we were lucky cause not many tourist. A nice escape on a hot day. Do not miss the church.
Eva M Erickson (2 years ago)
Must see when visiting Lisbon. Just a few minutes outside of Lisbon it's easy to reach by public transport. They are good with Corona measurements so it's safe to visit.
Philipp Holzhauser (2 years ago)
A beautiful monastery, the architecture, the layout, and the design are so beautiful. Definitely worth going there and enjoying this place from the inside. You can take lots of great pictures and enjoy the the building.
Joseph Carneiro (2 years ago)
Undoubtedly beautiful in the cloisters but there really isn’t much to see other than that. There is also no written or audio information on the building despite it being very historic. I wouldn’t recommend anyone visit inside - spend your euros on something more culturally enlightening.
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