A visit to Jerónimos monastery

Wed, 07.11.2018

Knowing more about the Portuguese Overseas Expansion

On the last tour on the 7th of November, our Portuguese Language School took the students to the monastery of Jerónimos.

We went with our history teacher, Indira Leão. We took the tram 15 in Praça da Figueira to go to Belém. The tram’s trip was great and the good weather made our tour really enjoyable.

When we got to Jerónimos, we were amazed with the architectonic style of the monastery. It is called Manuelino, in honor of the king D. Manuel I. It’s characterized by the sea elements as ropes and anchors. Indira told us that the monastery took one century to be built and its construction started in 1501. Many artists worked in the erection of the monument like João de Castilho and Diogo de Boitaca.

There was a need in that time to build a place where the navigators could pray before taking the long journeys to the New World. With that purpose, the king D. Manuel I ordered the construction of Jerónimos near the beach of Restelo. The monastery was delivered to Saint Jerome’s order.

We visited the incredible church in Jerónimos. Inside there are the tombs of the Portuguese famous poet Luís Vaz de Camões and the navigator Vasco da Gama. Camões died with the plague, so he was buried in a common grave. Probably isn’t his body inside the tomb. Near the altar of the church we could contemplate the magnificent tombs of the king D. Manuel I. The tomb has elephants below, to symbolize the Portuguese power and control of India.

After the tour we tasted the traditionalPastéis de Belém. They are really tasty and addictive!

Below you can take a look at our wonderful pictures of this tour:

Going back to the Portuguese Golden Age period

Belém is definitely one of the mandatory places to visit when you are on vacations in Lisbon. What do you know about the importance of this place in the Portuguese History? We’ll provide to you a fantastic guided visit to Jerónimos monastery! On the 7th of November we’ll begin this amazing tour to one of the major symbols of the Portuguese “Discoveries”.

Indira Leão, our history teacher, will be our guide. Belém it’s located in the west of the city center, so we will get there by tram. In Jerónimos we’ll see the church, the cloister and we will take a tour through the gardens of the monastery.

We’ll go back in time until 1502. In this year, D. Manuel I ordered the erection of a monastery to theOrder of St. Jerome. The king wanted to construct the monument in Belém to acknowledge his own great devotion to St. Jerome. And also to perpetuate the memory of Henry, the navigator.

The monastery and the church are representations of the architectural style called Manuelino. It’s a style created during the reign of D. Manuel I (1495-1521) and characterized by the sea elements: anchors, ropes… Some of the architects responsible for the construction of the monument were Diogo de Boitaca and João de Castilho.

We´ll have the opportunity to see the tombs of the poet Luís de Camões and of the navigator Vasco da Gama. They are located in the church.

The monastery was declared a National Monument in 1907 and in 1983 UNESCO classified it as a “World Heritage Site”.

After the tour we’ll taste the delicious Pastéis de Belém. Don’t miss this gastronomic experience!

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