Commissioned by King Manuel I in 1502, the monastery was built in the Belém district on the site of an old chapel where, in 1497, Vasco da Gama said his prayers before leaving on his long voyage. The building took nearly a century to complete. A shrine for explorers, the monastery is full of maritime motifs rope wrapped around the columns and innumerable aquatic monsters recalling the period when Portugal ruled the oceans. The cloister, with its exceptional sculptures, is a favourite among visitors.
The lower floor, designed by French-born Portuguese architect Diogo de Boitaca, is an exuberant mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The top floor, meanwhile, is the work of masterful Iberian architect Juan de Castillo. Having miraculously survived the 1755 earthquake, the monastery is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your visit, head over to the Belém Tower just a short walk away to enjoy a stroll in the cool of the evening.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Praça do Império
+351 21 362 0034