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JERONIMOS MONASTERY

A World Heritage monument; Vasco da Gama's resting place

Jeronimos Monastery The Jeronimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal's power and wealth during the Age of Discovery. King Manuel I built it in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama's voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success. Vasco da Gama's tomb was placed inside by the entrance, as was the tomb of poet Luis de Camões, author of the epic The Lusiads in which he glorifies the triumphs of Da Gama and his compatriots. Other great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano.

Jeronimos Monastery Cloisters The monastery was populated by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome (Hieronymites), whose spiritual job was to give guidance to sailors and pray for the king's soul. It is one of the great triumphs of European Gothic (UNESCO has classified it a World Heritage monument), with much of the design characterized by elaborate sculptural details and maritime motifs. This style of architecture became known as Manueline, a style of art that served to glorify the great discoveries of the age.

The cloisters are magnificent, each column differently carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs evocative of that time of world exploration at sea. Here is also the entrance to the former refectory that has beautiful reticulated vaulting and tile decoration on the walls depicting the Biblical story of Joseph.

The church interior is spacious with octagonal piers richly decorated with reliefs, and outside is a garden laid out in 1940 consisting of hedges cut in the shape of various municipal coats of arms of Portugal. In the center is a large fountain also decorated with coats of arms, often illuminated on special occasions.

Get FREE admission to Jeronimos Monastery and ride Lisbon's metro, buses, and trams for FREE with the Lisboa Card.


UNESCO says...


Jeronimos Monastery was declared a World Heritage monument because:

"Standing at the entrance to Lisbon harbour, the Monastery of the Hieronymites - construction of which began in 1502 - exemplifies Portuguese art at its best."


How to Visit

Interior 
of Jeronimos Monastery's church Where: Praça do Império, Belem
How: Tram 15
When: 10AM-5PM (Oct.-April), 10AM-6PM (May-Sept.) (Closed Mondays)
What: www.mosteirojeronimos.pt
How much: 6 euros, or FREE with the Lisboa Tourist Card

Sights Nearby

Belem Tower - The city's icon; a symbol of the Age of Discovery.
Discoveries Monument - The world's explorers in stone.
Berardo Museum - World-class collection of modern art.
Coaches Museum - The world's largest collection of magnificent royal coaches.
Maritime Museum - The story of Portugal's pioneering role in world exploration at sea.
Archaeology Museum - Archaeological finds from over the centuries.
Belem Cultural Center - Modern cultural center with regular exhibitions and events.
Tropical Garden - Beautiful garden with rare plants from around the world.
Belem Palace - The home of Portugal's President.
Memoria Church - Elegant neoclassical church.
Ajuda Palace - An extravagant royal palace.
Ajuda Botanical Garden - Beautiful gardens overlooking the river.
25 de Abril Bridge - Golden Gate's twin sister.
Docas - Attractive dock area with cosmopolitan bars and restaurants.



LISBON ATTRACTIONS
NEIGHBORHOODS
-Baixa (Downtown)
-Bairro Alto & Chiado
-Belem
-Alfama
-Parque das Nações
-Uptown

CASTLES & FORTRESSES
-Saint George's Castle
-Belem Tower

PALACES
-Ajuda Palace
-Fronteira Palace
-Belem Palace
-São Bento Palace

MUSEUMS
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HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE
-Discoveries Monument
-Santa Justa Elevator
-Rossio Station
-Casa dos Bicos
-25th of April Bridge
-Monument to Christ
-São Carlos Theater
-The Aqueduct
-Campo Pequeno
-Roman Theater Ruins

MODERN ARCHITECTURE
-Vasco da Gama Bridge
-Vasco da Gama Tower
-Oriente Station
-Portugal Pavilion
-Atlantic Pavilion
-Belem Cultural Center
-Lisbon Casino
-Oceanarium
MAIN STREETS & SQUARES
-Comercio Square
-Rossio Square
-Rua Augusta
-Municipal Square
-Camões Square
-Figueira Square
-Rua Portas Santo Antão
-Restauradores Square
-Avenida da Liberdade
-Marquês de Pombal Square

CHURCHES
-Jeronimos Monastery
-Carmo Convent
-São Roque Church
-Estrela Basilica
-The Cathedral
-São Vicente de Fora Monastery
-National Pantheon
-Saint Anthony Church
-Graça Church
-Conceição Velha Church
-São Domingos Church
-Memoria Church
PARKS & GARDENS
-Edward VII Park
-Tropical Garden
-Miradouro São Pedro Alcântara
-Miradouro de Santa Catarina
-Botanical Garden
-Estrela Gardens
-Ajuda Botanical Garden
-Principe Real
-Santa Luzia
-Portas do Sol
-Docas
-THE BEST OF LISBON: Top 10's
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