The Belem Tower Lisbon is one of the most iconic sites in the city and one of the most famous Unesco sites in Portugal in combination with the Jeronimos Monastery. Discover this fortified tower protecting Lisbon in video and photos.
Information to plan your visit at the end of the article
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The Belem Tower Lisbon - Outside
From the outside, the tower is beautiful. You can admire it from many angles.
Its architecture is square and of Manueline style with hints of other architecture styles. For example, its watch towers capped with ribbed cupolas inspired by Islamic architecture.
The cross of the Knights of Christ on many walls of this fortress.
One fo the most famous monuments in Lisbon
Visit of Below Tower Lisbon - Video
Let's continue with a short video of my visit. There was a lot of waiting which you don't see here... Sadly the weather was not on my side but you still get an idea of what it is like to visit the Belem Tower Lisbon.
Considering the time to queue, the quality of the view and what there is to see inside, I think it is not worth visiting it.
However I recommend stopping there to admire the tower of Belem from the outside and appreciate the location.
It is an iconic location in the country, and often part of one week Portugal itinerary suggestions.
Belem Tower Facts
- Its Portuguese name is Torre de Belém
- It is also known as the Saint Vincent Tower, Patron of Lisbon
- Build between 1514 and 1520
- Built by King D. Manuel I
- It is decorated in Manueline Style (Portuguese version of Gothic architecture)
- Built both as a ceremonial gateway and a defense system at the entrance of the Tagus River
- Unesco World Heritage site since 1983 (in combination with the Monastery)
- The tower is 30m high (98ft) and 4 storeys
Tower of Belem - Ground & Underground
Once you are able to entre the tower of Belem Lisbon, you first discover the ground floor with the upper battery. Several canons are on display.
You can get down a staircase to the Lower Battery. With very low ceiling you will have to squat and there is not much to see..
Tower of Belem - First Level
The best part of the visit of the Belem Tower is the first level. This is where you can appreciate the decor the most. You can see up-close the top of the tower and really appreciate the details in the building.
This is the cross I was mentioning earlier...
Stairs and Queues...
The tower is really not that big but it is one of the most famous touristic sites in Lisbon. So it is always busy. I was lucky not to be there on a weekend or in Summer and I wals already frustrated.
The staircases are narrow which means crossing people is a problem. Hence the queueing also inside.
From the first level to the roof the access is only one narrow spiral staircase with 93 steps. There are trying to regulate the people going up and down with green/red lights and sounds but t clearly does not work...
The view from the top of the Belem Tower Lisbon
From the top, you have a good view of the Tagus river and the 25th April Bridge.
You can also see the Belem neighborhood and its colorful buildings.
The Miniature Torre de Belém
Not far from the entrance you can see the Replica at 1:50 scale.
Was created to help the visually impaired to capture the architecture of the Belem Tower.
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Lisbon Belem Tower Portugal
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