Lisbon of Renaissance

Wed, 01.08.2018
Praça da Figueira

Learning about the historical attractions in Belém

In our last tour, on the 1st day of August, we took our students to Belém. There, we walked between the Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Torre de Belém. The good weather and the wonderful view to the river Tejo provided us memorable moments.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, led us first to the Padrão dos Descobrimentos. This monument was built in 1940 as the representation of the political ideology of patriotism during Salazar’s dictatorship. But, it was reconstructed and inaugurated in 1950 to celebrate the 500 years of the death of the infant D. Henrique. This navigator was responsible for the Portuguese conquest of Ceuta, in 1415. This event promoted the expansion of the Portuguese empire in the African continent. We had the chance to see some of the main characters represented in the Padrão, such as Camões or Vascoda Gama. The only woman represented in the monument is Filipa de Lencastre, wife of D. John I and mother of the infant D. Henrique. They gave birth to a progeny of navigators and explorers who extended the Portuguese empire overseas.

After visiting the stunning viewpoint in the Padrão, we went to the Torre de Belém. Indira explained us that it was built in the architectural manueline style, from 1514 to 1520. The Torre had the purpose of defending the city against any maritime threat. With the Iberian Union in 1580, the Torre lost its defensive role and became a prison. Nowadays, it’s visited by thousands of people every year.

We ended our tour with the mandatory visit to the Pastéis de Belém. We had such a good time and, as always, in the best company!

You can check out the photos of the event!

Unveiling the mysteries of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Torre de Belém

Did you know that the Torre de Belém and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos are related with the Portuguese Discoveries? Are you aware that the Portuguese overseas expansion makes part of the golden age period of Lisbon’s history? Our Portuguese Language School invites you all to make part of another amazing tour, on the 1st of August

Our history teacher Indira Leão will show us these incredible monuments. The Torre de Belém was built in 1514, in the Manueline architectural style, common during the reign of D. Manuel I. This fortress had a huge defensive importance during the modern age period. And from here, many caravels departed to the overseas journeys. We will identify the Portuguese coat of arms and the inscriptions of the crosses of the Order of Christ.

More than 500 years after the Portuguese overseas expansion, Salazar, the Portuguese dictator, ordered the construction of Padrão dos Descobrimentos. This was a strategy based on nationalism to elevate the importance of the Discoveries in people’s minds. In this monument, important figures are represented: explorers like Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias. Or the figure of the well-known poet Luís Vaz de Camões, and also infant D. Henrique, who is the central figure represented in the Padrão.

As always, after the tour we´ll have the opportunity to have a drink and taste the popular Pastéis de Belém.

During the tour, Indira will speak in Portuguese and English. You will learn more about the history of Lisbon, while exercising your knowledge of Portuguese.

We hope to meet you all! Don’t forget to visit our School Events section in our website to check out our weekly events.