The Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belem are located in the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. They were listed into the World Heritage Sites for their cultural and religious value.

The monastery is situated at the entry of Lisbon Harbor so visitors enjoy sweeping views of the beautiful sea. It exemplifies the Portuguese art at its best. The nearby Tower of Belem commemorates Vasco da Gama’s expedition. Vasco da Gama remains one of the most famous Portuguese sailors for his extensive explorations of the East African coast and the West Indies regions. The Belem Tower is a tremendous reminder to the maritime discoveries that led to interaction of great civilizations around the world.

The Hieronymite Monastery was originally the home of the Hieronymite Religious Order that was built by Prince Henry the Navigator in 1459. The chapel that existed here was serviced by the monks of the militant religious Order of Christ. The monastery is today one of the most spectacular religious monuments from medieval Portugal.

The Tower of Belem is also referred to as the Tower of St. Vincent. It played a significant role during the Portuguese Age of Discoveries – especially of the maritime kind. The tower was commissioned by King John II as part of the defense system of the Tagus River that served as the ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.

The Belem Tower was constructed in the 16th century in the famous Portuguese Manueline architectural style. It however has hints of other architectural styles. Its structure was built from Lioz limestone. It features a 30 meters bastion, and is a four storey tower. The tower was built on a small island in the Tagus River near Lisbon shore.

There is an alluring beauty to these two monuments. Their value to the Portuguese history is undeniable. They represent the greatness of Portugal in the 15th century.

Any visit to Portugal should include an understanding of its historic maritime exploits, and here in Lisbon is a perfect place to start. 

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