The Belém Tower (Torre de Belém) was built between 1514 and 1520 in a Manuelino style by the Portuguese architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda. It was classified as a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO.
Constructed on the northern bank of the Tagus River, this tower was used to defend the city. Years later, it was transformed into a lighthouse and customs house. It is situated very close to Jerónimos Monastery.
The ground floor of this architectural jewel has 16 windows with cannons. The visit also includes a tour of the pits and holes where the prisoners were thrown into.
The tower has five floors which lead to a roof terrace. Each story is connected by a small and narrow spiral staircase, which, on the busiest days, you have to wait for your turn to climb and descend and is a little overwhelming.
The floors are, from bottom to top: The Governor’s Hall, The Kings’ Hall, the Audience Hall, the Chapel and Roof terrace.
On the western façade of the Tower of Belém, you’ll find a curious gargoyle in the shape of a rhinoceros. Curiously, the first rhino to set foot in Portugal was in 1513 from India.
Belém Coast, 6 kilometers west of Lisbon.
October - April: 10am to 5pm.
May - September: 10am to 6.30pm.
Closed: Mondays, 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25 December.
Adults: 6€ (+ Jerónimos Monastery, 12€; Jerónimos Monastery + Ajuda Palace: 16€).
Senior (over 65 years old): 50% discount.
Youth Card: 50% discount.
Children (less than 12 years old): free entrance.
Free entrance with the Lisboa Card.
Tram: line 15.
Bus: lines 27, 28, 29, 43, 49, 51 and 112.
Train: Belem, Cascáis Line.