Belém Tower | Lisboa Cool
Login | Register

visit > museums & galleries

LisboaCool_Visit_Belém Tower

Belém Tower

authentic living proof of Portuguese history

Defending the Tejo River bank, starting point for many voyages of discovery, telegraph office, customs, lighthouse and political prison, the Belém Tower was a place of many utilities. Today, it is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic monuments and authentic living proof of Portuguese history. Let’s discover it?

Built in the 16th century, during the reign of King Manuel I, the Belém Tower is considered an architectural jewel of the iconic Manueline style. Its architecture is composed of many national and religious symbols, masonry motifs from the discoveries and exotic animals from India. One example is a rhinoceros that inspired the design of the first stone created with this effect in all of Europe, becoming a reference for the first contacts that Portugal developed with other people and other cultures.

The Tower’s architecture also received some Arabic influences, mainly due to the fact that the renowned architect Francisco de Arruda, who was responsible for the construction of the tower, had worked on various fortresses in Morocco.

In the architectural complex of the Belém Tower there are several different areas that you can visit and imagine yourself in other times.

It is impossible not to notice the cultural reference that the Belém Tower represents. If you want to briefly go through 500 years of Portugal’s history, this tower is the perfect place. For many Portuguese sailors, it was the last view of the homeland. Today, for many it is a view immortalized by its historical significance, along with the architectural uniqueness that got it the classification as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1983.

Cool Tip: the unique Manueline style symbolism completely adorns the tower’s decoration. Don’t say goodbye to this spot without appreciating the most peculiar details of its authentic Portuguese architecture: ropes and elegant knots, armillary spheres, crosses of the Military Order of Christ, an image of St. Vincent – the Holy Protector of Lisbon, and the image of the Archangel Michael – Guardian Angel of Portugal. Be sure to enjoy the tower’s terrace and allow the views of the Tejo River to end this historic tour with a flourish.


Oct – Apr: 10:00 am – 05:30 pm
May – Sep: 10:00 am – 06:30 pm
Closed: Monday, 1st Jan, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 13th Jun e 25th Dec