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

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Lisbon Super Saver: Lisbon Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Four Routes including Tram

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Lisbon for Beginners: Private Tour

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...ificent Jerónimos Monastery, and the Belem Tower. The ideal tour for those looking to make the most of their short trip.


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Belem Neighborhood Walking Tour

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Lisbon River Cruise

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Belem Tower, Lisbon

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.

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. Commissioned by King Manuel I and completed in 1515, it was originally built on an island in the Tejo River that has since merged with the mainland. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for standing as a testament to the Golden Age of the Discovery and the "pioneer role the Portuguese had in the 15th and 16th centuries in creating contacts, dialogue and interchange among different cultures".

The Late-Gothic Manueline style tower designed by Francisco de Arruda incorporates Moorish and Oriental elements in its limestone edifice. It has 2 parts – an irregular hexagonal bulwark, and a 4 storey square tower to the north. The drawbridge leading to the bulwark is decorated with plant motifs and the royal coat of arms, with the entrance flanked by small columns with armillary spheres which are a symbol of Portugal's nautical explorations. The carved twisted ropes at various places around the façade are also a representation of nautical heritage. At the base of one of the turrets is the first-ever European sculpture of a rhinoceros. The bulwark has 2 levels which facilitate long-range cannon firing as well as ricochet shots over the water. The artillery is positioned at 17 cannon holes arranged around a central open patio surrounded by Gothic arches. The ancillary storerooms were originally used for provisions, and later used as dungeons.

The first floor of the Moorish-style tower has a water cistern in the Governor's Room that stored rainwater. The second floor has the King's Room, with a Venetian Renaissance style loggia offering great views of the water, and machicolation for shooting projectiles. The northeast and northwest corners have statues of Saint Vincent of Saragossa and the Archangel Michael in niches. The top floor has a chapel, and striking stone fireplace with a mantelpiece decorated with half spheres. It is surrounded by a balcony with shields of the Order of Christ. The terrace above is edged with battlements, and offers incredible views over the estuary and Belem.
















About Belem Tower

 Avenida Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal

 +351 213 620 034

Belem Tower and Nearby Sights on Map

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

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 da Marinha

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

Jeronimos Monastery

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

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

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 da Electricidade

Ajuda Botanical Gardens

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

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

Cristo Rei

Inspired by the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the monumental statue of Cristo Rei towers over the city on the opposite bank of the Tejo River from downtown Lisbon