Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Los Angeles, California
January 5, 2006
From journal Portugal in November
Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
May 23, 2002
Families may well be particularly attracted to the Museo dos Coches - we did not go but I gather it is an amazing display of coaches.
What must be seen 'properly' is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. This is one of the largest buildings in the Manueline style and was started early in the 16th Century.
In general I am not that fond of the style - too ornate by half - but I find it admirable in such a majestic large building and surely it must have been conceived for this rather than for the smaller buildings in which it irritates me so?
Last but not least, do not leave Belém without trying 'pasteis de Belém form the Antiga Confeitaría. These little tarts filled with a custardy sort of cream are marvelous but do not buy too many as they are nothing like as good next day!
From journal Lisbon levels and lifts - and a day out.
Mexico City, Mexico
December 17, 2001
Belem is dominated by the Manueline architecture of the sixteenth century Monastery of St Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos). The south entrance to the church is exuberantly decorated, as are the vaulted arcades of the cloisters, with a mixture of religious themes and items related to Portugal’s maritime experience at the time of construction.
The nave of the church has spectacular slender octagonal pillars creating the impression that the roof is kept aloft by palms. The church contains the tombs of several Kings including Manuel I, Joao III and the empty tomb of King Sebastiao whose body was never recovered after dying in battle in 1578 trying to conquer Morocco. Each tomb is oddly supported by a pair of elephants!
Close to the rear entrance is the tomb of discoverer Vasco da Gama. His tomb is carved with seafaring instruments as well as religious symbols and artichokes. The discovery that the humble artichoke could be used to prevent scurvy was a major breakthrough in improving the health of intercontinental sailors.
The main attractions of the cloisters (free entry on Sundays) are the richly carved arches and balustrades, which were being cleaned and restored during 2001. The refectory is tiled with azulejos depicting biblical themes. Rooms in the cloister were rather bare. I have no idea though whether that is permanent or just as a result of the restoration in progress.
The famous Pasteis de Belem (custard pastry) can by bought just down the road from the Monastry close to the tram stop.
From journal A wet week in Lisbon
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
June 24, 2001
The very modern looking Monument to the Discoveries was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. Shaped like the bow of a ship, it features images of Prince Henry and other Portugese explorers. An elevator takes you to the top where you get expansive views of Lisbon, the Tagus River and the 25th of April bridge. When it was first built in 1966, it was called the Salazar bridge after the reigning dictator but was renamed for the date of the 1974 revolution that won Portugal its freedom.
Further along the waterfront is the Torre de Belem, a 16th century Manueline style tower that was designated a World Heritage building by UNESCO. It used to be the first thing returning sailors saw on their trips back from discovering new worlds. The front of the tower was built to resemble a galleon and entrance to the Tower is reached by crossing a small draw bridge. You can visit the inside for 600$ esc. where you climb to the top for more great views.
Both towers are open Tuesday through Sunday. Monument to the Discoveries is open from 9:30 to 6:30 and Belem Torre is open from 10 to 5 pm.
Outside each attraction, sidewalk vendors offer lots of souvenirs for sale but I found the prices more expensive than in central Lisbon.
From journal Exploring Lisbon