Program - Sightseeing - Lisbon - Portugal
The Belem Tower, a Monument to Portugal's Age of Discovery

The Tower of Belém is a cultural reference, a symbol of the specificity of Portugal at the time, including its privileged exchange with other cultures and civilisations.

Built on the northern bank of the Tagus between 1514 and 1520 as part of the Tagus estuary defence system, the Tower of Belém is one of the architectural jewels of the reign of Manuel I. In the tower as a whole one can distinguish two distinct volumes and military architectural models: the mediaeval keep tower and the modern bulwark which, as it contained two artillery levels, allowed for long-distance cannon firing as well as ricochet shots over the water. The Belem Tower is one of the monuments that characterizes the identity of Lisbon. It is located at the margin of Tejo River and is a landmark of the Age of Discovery.

The Torre de Belem (Belem Tower), Lisbon The Torre de Belem is the iconic building of Lisbon, and the closest Portugal gets to an instantly recognisable monument. This delightful little fort guarded the Tejo Estuary since the 16th century and was constructed at the height of the Manueline style of architecture. Decorating the fort are Arabic styled watchtowers, battlements adorned with the “Cross of Christ” and the earliest carving of a rhinoceros in Europe.

The monument is divided into 2 parts, the tower and the bulwark. The tower has 5 floors, which are currently empty and are accessible via a narrow spiral staircase. The bulwark houses 16 cannons, which at the time served to low-flying artillery fire. In front of the Belem Tower there is a very nice garden that hosts some outdoor events.