Situated high up in gardens on a gently sloped hill, Belém Palace is the official residence of Portugal's president since 1910. It was built in 1559 and altered in the 18th century by King João V.
In 1755, King José I was inside the palace, where the Great Earthquake was felt only to a slight extent and, just like most buildings in this area, it wasn't severely damaged. It still retains its richly furnished halls, carvings, tiles, and numerous works of art that may be visited on Saturdays.
The Presidency Museum is part of the palace and can be visited every day (except Mondays). It tells the story of the Portuguese Republic and its Presidents, with a permanent collection explaining the history of the nationals symbols (flag and anthem) and the role of the presidents through photographs. In one gallery are portraits of every Portuguese president, and in another are the gifts each received from world leaders and other prominent figures.
In front of the palace is a square with well-tended gardens and a statue of Afonso de Albuquerque, the Viceroy of India, standing atop a 20m-high Neo-Manueline pedestal in the center.
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Monastery - A World Heritage monument; Vasco da Gama's resting place.
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 the 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.
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.
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