Lisbon's Icon: Belem Tower

The Belem Tower is the most photographed spot/structure in Lisbon. It is the city's icon, which I did not know about before coming here. It is also the symbol of the Age of Discovery.

You know I know nothing of this symbol before coming here and since we did not have a guided tour, I had to rely on the interwebs for information and here is what I found out:

Built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon's harbor, the Belem Tower was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for the sailors it was the last sight of their homeland.

It is a monument to Portugal's Age of Discovery, often serving as a symbol of the country, and UNESCO has listed it as a World Heritage monument.

Built in the Manueline style, it incorporates many stonework motifs of the Discoveries, sculptures depicting historical figures such as St. Vincent and an exotic rhinoceros that inspired Dürer's drawing of the beast.

The architect, Francisco de Arruda, had previously worked on Portuguese fortifications in Morocco, so there are also Moorish-style watchtowers and other Moorish influences. Facing the river are arcaded windows, delicate Venetian-style loggias, and a statue of Our Lady of Safe Homecoming, a symbol of protection for sailors on their voyages.

Due to time constraints we were unable to go inside. Instead we were content on admiring it from the outside.

Phone shot.

Miniature version, front.

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Miniature version, back.







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It's been over a year since this trip happened, but I still remember the warmth of the sun as it hits my face and my arms and how cool the sea breeze was. It was a perfect November day.

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  1. Just seeing these makes you wonder exactly what it was like to be there defending others!!...:)JP

  2. These are gorgeous photos of the tower. I may never make it to Lisbon, but your pictures sure make me want to add it to my 'bucket list'.

  3. Hello, Lisbon has many great sights to see. The tower is cool. Great collection of photos. Enjoy your day and the weekend ahead!

  4. The fort is gorgeous...nice clicks!

  5. It's been almost 15 years since we were in Lisbon. Your pics are a wonderful reminder. Thanks for the posting!

  6. Belem Towers is beautiful and the setting it is in makes it even prettier.

    Have an amazing weekend!

    Alex's World! -

  7. Love all your photos of Lisbon!
    What a great trip!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. now, that´s an impressive building. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Great captures ... love to visit too!

    Happy weekend!


  10. What an awesome place, and beautiful photos.

  11. Thanks for the information on this beautiful tower. Did you take these gorgeous pictures? I love seeing the world through the eyes of different people .....sitting in front of my computer instead of running around catching flights and trains!

  12. Wow - so beautiful!

  13. Beautiful shots of a fascinating place.

  14. I went to Lisbon a couple of years ago but wasn't able to see this. I guess it's a reason to go back. :p


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