Jerónimos Monastery Belém is one of the best examples of late Gothic Manueline archtecture of Portugal. Its construction started in 1501 and it took 100 years to complete.
The monastery is set in the parish of Belém on the shores of the mouth of the Tagus, 6 km from Lisbon´s city centre. Originally a small fishing port, Belém grew to be the main port for Portuguese expansionism after the arrival of Vasco da Gama and the monastery was build as a sfae haven and church for Mariniers and fisherman before sailing out and after arrival back to Lisbon.
The existing building was started on the orders of Manuel I (1469-1521) on the grounds of a former church as a final resting-place for members of the House of Aviz.
In 1640 the monastery regained much of it´s former importance when it became the burial place for the royal pantheon and 4 of the children of John IV of Portugal have there tombs in the monastery.
The monastery is lavishly decorated in Manueline tradition with much reference to its Maritime foundation.
Several sculptors left their mark on this building: Nicolau Chanterene, Diogo de Torralva, Jérôme de Rouen.
The monastery became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983 and is much loved and visited by tourist all over the world.
Read more the monastery on the official site
The monastery is free on every 1st Sunday morning of the month.See related: Lisbon | Lisbon District | Points of interest Lisbon
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