A series on Lisboa – Belém

Moving, from Bairro Alto, to the westernmost district of Lisbon: Belém. The name is derived from the Portuguese word for Bethlehem. As it used to have it’s own historic parish. There are many distinctive buildings in this area, each as old and as impressive as the others.

Torre de Belém, protecting the city.

Torre de Belém, protecting the city on a cloudy day.

To get to Belém, take the tram from Cais do Sodré, one of Lisbon’s larger stations, and get out at the stop (paragem) Pedrouços. Walk towards the river, and you’ll find the Tower of Belém. A 30 meter high tower, designed in the late 15th century. This tower was needed to protect the city.

Torre de Belém

Torre de Belém, built in the 15th century.

From Torre de Belém, it is only a 15 minute walk towards the statue called “Padrão dos Descobrimentos”.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos Descobrimentos, or Monument to the Discoveries.

This 52 meter high statue, is an homage to the Portuguese explorers, that “gave” Portugal her colonies and was revealed on the 500th death anniversary of Henry the Navigator.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

One of these men, is Henry the Navigator.

From the statue, cross the street to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Before reaching the monastery, you will need to cross the gardens. A tip: bring your lunch and eat it at the gardens, to enjoy the fountains, giving a show each whole hour.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

A view at Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, from the gardens.

Lisbon (and Portugal) was not always a Christian city. In the year 714 the Muslim Moors invaded Lisboa, to reign for over 100 years! To this day, a lot of the Arabic architectural influences can be found in Portugal (and Spain too). The church was finished around at the end of the 15th century, when Portugal was a Christian country again.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos – An impressive sight!

In 1983, both Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, and the Tower of Belém, were classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A bit closer to the city center, you can find Ponte 25 de Abril. A bridge, connection Lisboa and Almada, built by the same company that made the Golden Gate Bridge. This 2.227 meter long bridge, was formerly known as the Salazar Bridge. But after the revolution, when Salazar did not longer reign, the bridge was renamed. Ending a troubled period for Lisboa.

Ponte 25 de Abril

Ponte 25 de Abril

I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog, and thank you for your time!

Kind regards,



  1. As a foodie I expected you to rave about pasteis de Belém! I hope you went to the famous bakery to have some!?
    We did a tour of the city by tram in Lisbon, and it took us to Belém – very nice part of town.

    • Hi Kiki!

      Thank you for your comment. Belem indeed is a nice district!

      And the pastries in Portugal are delicious! And I can tell you, we did enjoy them every day 🙂 There are many great little bakeries, and the you’ll found them crowded at 10 AM, and at 10 PM. Love it!

      But in Belem, the famous bakery had a looong line. So we decided not to go there, instead go back to the city center and enjoy pastries there 😉

      Have a great Sunday!

  2. Pingback: A series on Lisboa – Alfama | Luvo Photography

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