The 16th century Jerónimos Monastery stands at the entrance to the Lisbon harbour as a testament to Portugal's Golden Age of Exploration

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Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

The 16th century Jerónimos Monastery stands at the entrance to the Lisbon harbour as a testament to Portugal's Golden Age of Exploration.

The 16th century Jerónimos Monastery stands at the entrance to the Lisbon harbour as a testament to Portugal's Golden Age of Exploration. Built in Gothic Manueline style, it was commissioned by King Manuel I and donated to the Order of Hieronymite monks who spiritually aided seafarers prior to their departure in search for the new world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being an exceptional testimony to a 15th and 16th century civilization and culture.

The monastery stands on the site of the Hermitage of Restelo, a former church built by Prince Henry the Navigator where Vasco da Gama and his crew are believed to have prayed in 1497 before their voyage to India. Laid out on a rectangular plan with a projecting wing, the monastery has buildings erected around a central octagonal cloister. The monumental 32 metre high south portal is a sight to behold, with sumptuous Manueline carvings over 2 storeys. At the centre is the figure of Our Lady of Bethlehem with Child, holding a cup with gifts from the Magi. The statue is framed by the window behind, which is surrounded by statues of prophets, the apostles, saints, and clergy. An image of Archangel Michael stands on top of this ensemble, while at the very top of the portal is a cross of the Order of Christ. The tympanum features Manuel I's coat-of-arms flanked by 2 scenes from the life of St. Jerome - one in which he removes a thorn from a lion's paw, and another in which he pays penance in the desert. A statue of Henry the Navigator stands on a pedestal between the doors.

The main portal is the axial east-facing portal, which features scenes from the birth of Christ (Annunciation, Nativity and Adoration of the Magi) in the tympanum. The door is flanked by statues of the Monastery's founding monarchs King Manuel I and Queen Maria of Aragon kneeling in prayer, with Saint Jerome and Saint John the Baptist standing behind them.

The Church of Santa Maria houses the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões in the lower choir, the remains of Cardinal-King Dom Henrique and Manuel I's children in the left transept, and the tomb of King Sebastião in the right transept arm. To the left of the choir are the tombs of Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, while to the right are the tombs of King João III and his wife Queen Catherine of Austria. Also of note here are the six 25 metre high octagonal columns with Renaissance style grotesque or floral elements, the single-span ribbed vault that spans the 19 metre wide hall, and stained-glass windows by Abel Manta and Leone.

The 2 storeyed cloister at the heart of the complex is the epitome of Manueline architecture, adorned with religious symbols, royal imagery, nautical motifs, and naturalist elements. The north wing of the lower cloister has the tomb of Fernando Pessoa, while the chapterhouse contain the remains of Almeida Garrett, Alexandre Herculano, Teófilo Braga, and Óscar Carmona. The refectory across the chapterhouse has several azulejos tile panels from the 17th century depicting the Miracle of the Bread and Fish, and scenes from the life of Joseph in Egypt.

Explore the complex further to see the confessionals, sacristy, library, the Museu Nacional de Arqueologia (National Archaeological Museum), and the Museu da Marinha (Maritime Museum).


Hours

Sun

10:00

18:00

Mon

10:00

18:00

Tue

10:00

18:00

Wed

10:00

18:00

Thu

10:00

18:00

Fri

10:00

18:00

Sat

10:00

18:00

About Jeronimos Monastery

 Praça do Império, Lisbon, Portugal

 www.mosteirojeronimos.pt

Jeronimos Monastery and Nearby Sights on Map

Museu da Marinha

One of the most important in Europe, evoking Portugal's domination of the seas

Monument to the Discoveries

The Padrão dos Descobrimentos or Monument to the Discoveries is a tribute to the Portuguese Age of Discovery that peaked during the 15th-16th centuries

Museu dos Coches

Housed in the former riding school of the palace, don't miss the world's largest collection of coaches and royal vehicles

Museu Colecção Berardo

The permanent collection of the museum consist of the Berardo Collection, which is made up of modern en contemporary art, with major art movements like abstract expressionism, Abstraction-Création, action painting, body Art, constructivism, cubism, De Stijl, digital art, experimental art, geometric abstraction, kinetic art, minimal art, neo-expressionism, neo-plasticism, neo-Realism, op art, photography, photorealism, pop art, realism, suprematism, surrealism

Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque

In front of the former Royal Palace of Belém, now the Presidential Palace, there is a massive statue looking out to sea, representing Afonso de Albuquerque, second ruler of Portuguese India in the early 16th century

Ajuda Botanical Gardens

The botanical garden of Ajuda is one of the oldest gardens in Europe and is considered the first in Portugal

Museu da Electricidade

Belem Tower

The Belém Tower, also known as the Tower of St Vincent to honor Lisbon's patron saint, is a fortified tower that guards the entrance to the Lisbon Harbour

25 de Abril Bridge

The Ponte 25 de Abril or 25th of April Bridge across the Tagus river resembles the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

Portugal's impressive national art collection, including 14-19th century European painting, artefacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures