Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery in Belém.

In 1496, King Manuel I (1495–1521) asked the Pope for permission to build a great monastery to thank the Virgin Mary for Vasco de Gama‘s successful voyage to India.

The construction of the Monastery and the church began on 6 January 1501. The project took 100 years to complete. It is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese architecture Manueline style in Lisbon.

It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Belém Tower, in 1983.

A richly ornamental and symbolic style with complex sculptures showing maritime elements and objects discovered during the Portuguese expeditions.

Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery

On 16th of July 1604, Philip of Spain made the monastery a royal funerary monument, no one but the royal family and the Hieronymite monks from entering the building.

The Jerónimos Monastery withstood the 1755 Lisbon earthquake without much damage, only the balustrade and part of the high choir were ruined.

To celebrate the 1898 fourth centenary of the arrival of Vasco da Gama in India, it was decided to restore the tomb of the explorer in 1894. The tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões, carved by the sculptor Costa Mota, were placed in the southern lateral chapel.


Jerónimos Monastery

The main entrance to the monastic church is the south portal. Designed by João de Castilho. Occupying the central pillar is a statue of Henry the Navigator.

The west door leads into the cloisters. Where the stonework is even more impressive than the church.

Other prominent landmarks near are the Museum of Archaeology, the Tower of Belém and the CCB – Cultural Center of Belém.

Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery (Belém)

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Jerónimos Monastery (Belém) 38.697891, -9.206704 Jerónimos Monastery (Belém) Lisbon City Card