Torre de Belém

UNESCO World Heritage, a cornerstone of Portuguese identity and an icon of a country historically moulded by its proximity to the ocean and its maritime discoveries of new worlds.

The Belém Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Lisbon’s most striking monuments and the icon of a country historically moulded by its proximity to the ocean and its maritime discoveries of new worlds.

Discoveries by Portuguese navigators transformed Lisbon into the world’s main trade hub in the 15th and 16th centuries.

To protect the city, King João II conceived a pioneer project to defend Lisbon from enemy ships, a work completed in 1514 and which included the building of the Belém Tower, designed by architect Francisco de Arruda.

The tower’s unique design includes a modern and heavily armed bastion, protruding over the river.

King Manuel I clearly wished the Belém Tower to stand as a lasting symbol of his powerful reign by depicting the royal coat of arms, the armillary sphere and the cross of the Order of Christ.

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