Portugal is a country of enormous cultural and artistic wealth. It can be seen in small towns and large cities such as Coimbra, Porto or its capital. In the latter we stop our steps. We will meet two wonderful places, two treasures of the World Heritage Site in Lisbon. Can you come with us?
Lisbon, the jewel of PortugalLisbon view
Lisbon is one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. Some of its buildings have been recognized by UNESCO for its enormous beauty and architectural and historical value.
But not only its constructions: its neighborhoods, its squares and its atmosphere make it a very special city. The Portuguese capital is one of those cities that falls in love. He does it when one walks through neighborhoods like the Alfama, contemplates from one of his viewpoints or Basque listens to fados in his premises.
The World Heritage Site in Lisbon
We are going to focus on two wonderful constructions to visit without excuse. They are the treasures of the World Heritage Site in Lisbon. Can you imagine what they are?
The Belém TowerBelém Tower in Lisbon
Built in the 16th century on the banks of the Tagus, the tower was raised in order to defend against invaders. However, throughout his life he has had several functions. Prison, lighthouse and even headquarters to collect taxes have been some of their tasks.
Referring to the Manueline art, the Belém Tower has Arabic and oriental details. Its main attraction, in addition to its position on the waters of the Tagus River, lies in its beautiful decoration. One tip: look for the carved head of a rhinoceros, it has a curious history.
Inside you can visit different rooms, such as the Governor's Hall, that of the Kings or the Audiences. But nevertheless, there is a very special place: its terrace. From it you can see magnificent views.
The Jeronimos MonasteryMonastery of los jeronimos
Near the Tower of Belém is the Jeronimos Monastery. In fact, from the terrace we have a magnificent view of its exterior. Also a reference of Manueline architecture, It was built in the 16th century by order of King Manuel I of Portugal.
The reason for its construction was very related to navigation, so important for the country at that time. The monastery rose to celebrate Vasco da Gama's arrival on his trip to India. And it was built in the same place that occupied a hermitage where he had prayed before leaving for the trip.
The church stands out in the first place. It is possible to admire six imposing columns that seem endless. It is a church of a single ship in which is the tomb of Vasco de Gama.
There is another very important place: the cloister. It is beautifully decorated with typically Manueline motifs, such as sailor capes. From it you can access the high church choir and the refectory, decorated with tiles.
A part of the monastery houses the National Archeology Museum. In it you can see a wide collection of Egyptian and Roman art, as well as Portugal's largest collection of goldsmiths.
Other monumentsMonument to the Discoveries - vichie81
A step away from these two treasures of the World Heritage Site in Lisbon you can admire another monument. Of course, much more modern. The Monument to the Discoveries was built in the 60s of the last century to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator.
A 52 meter high construction that represents a caravel. Around it we can contemplate the great figures of Portuguese navigation. And at his feet there is a huge mosaic that represents the wind rose. To contemplate it, nothing like climbing to the top of the monument.
And although it is not a monument as such, there is another place worth considering its image. The mouth of the Tagus River is a fabulous natural space that we cannot miss on our trip to Portugal. To admire it, it is best to climb the terrace of the Belém Tower, the image is spectacular.