1. Jerónimos Monastery
Jerónimos Monastery  Lisboa, Lisboa

Jerónimos Monastery

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted a Wonder of Portugal. It is the must-see tourist attraction in Lisbon.

Image source: @ fred_turcot
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Dogs allowed

Jerónimos - Monastery and National Pantheon

After their death, several illustrious figures of Portuguese society joined the National Pantheon for their contributions to the country and to Portuguese culture. Eusébio, Amália Rodrigues, Luís Vaz de Camões and Sophia de Mello Breyner are some of the names that rest in the church of Engrácia, in Lisbon. But the honours of the National Pantheon are not limited to this one building in the capital, as there are many pantheons in the country. In Belém, the Jerónimos Monastery also serves as the National Pantheon, a title it received in 2016. The monastery is home to figures such as King Manuel I, Catherine of Austria and Cardinal King Henry I.

Let's explore this place, a few kilometres from the centre of Lisbon is a true icon of the Belem landscape. The Monastery of the Jerónimos, whose full name is Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Belém, was commissioned in the 15th century by the then king, D. Manuel I, and operated under the auspices of the Order of St. Jerome - hence its name ("Mosteiro dos Jerónimos" in Portuguese).

History of the Hieronymite Monastery

It has been considered a national monument since 1907 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with the Torre de Belém, since 1983. In 2007 it was also elected as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. The Jerónimos Monastery is one of the most symbolic buildings in Portugal's history, extolling the virtues of the Lusitanians over the centuries. From an architectural point of view, it is one of the most emblematic examples of Manueline architecture. It was built about a hundred years ago in parallel to the Belem Tower, in this area the construction of a defensive structure was also planned. The aim was to protect the port of Lisbon, the bar of the Tagus and the Jerónimos Monastery itself. The construction of the Tower of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery took place at a time in Portugal's history that followed the conquest of Ceuta in 1415 and the era of the Discoveries, both of which triggered the expansion of the maritime industry in Portugal and the development of the Restelo region, which until then had been a small position on the banks of the Tagus.

The construction of the Jerónimos Monastery was initially proposed to the Holy See in 1496 by King Manuel I, and in the same year it received the approval of Pope Alexander VI. Two years later, the king donated the site where the Emira de Santa Maria de Belém was located to build the monastery, which was to have a capacity of 100 religious. The link between the construction of the monastery and the Holy See was close: it was Alexander VI who issued the document allowing its construction, and years later, in 1517, it was Pope Leo X who decided that the monastery should become the mother house of the Order of Christ.

Practical information

Opening hours of the monastery

Let's see when it is possible to visit the Monastery, from October to April it is open to the general public from 10:00 to 17:30 (last entrance at 17:00). From May to September, it is open from 10:00 to 18:30 (last entrance at 18:00). The Jerónimos Monastery is closed on Mondays and January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1 and December 25. The Monument is easily accessible by public transport or by car.

Entrance fee 

- Under 12s: Free

- Individual ticket: €10.00

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