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Skip Navigation LinksHomepage > Group > Lisbon > Must Visit > Monuments

Monuments

Monastery of Jerónimos  

Monastery of Jerónimos

This 16th century monastery is Lisbon's must-see marvel, flashing back to the days of the Age of Discovery when the spices of the East paid for the impressive architecture that has given it the status of World Heritage Site. Riches from all over the world poured into Lisbon thanks to Vasco da Gama's discovery of the maritime route to India, and the explorer's tomb is found in the church, a space filled with carvings of sea motifs. Coral, sea monsters, and ropes are also represented in the even more magnificent cloisters, which are unlike any other in the world. They are sometimes used as the backdrop for major events, such as the signing of the Lisbon Treaty between all 27 European Union countries in 2007.

Belém Tower

Lisbon's most famous landmark stands in the middle of the Tagus River from where it once protected the city in the 16th century. It's a beautiful fortress that also served as the departure point for many of the voyages of discovery, and because of its architecture and historical significance, it has been declared a World Heritage Site. The highlight of a visit is admiring the façade facing the river and the views from its loggias and windows. You'll see stonework relating to the Age of Discovery, including Our Lady of Safe Homecoming who was believed to protect sailors at sea, as well as a stone rhinoceros which inspired Dürer's depiction of the animal.
  Belém Tower

Castle of Saint George  

Castle of Saint George

Over a millennium-old and still Lisbon's most splendid sight: Spectacularly sited on the city's tallest hill, St. George's Castle offers a breath-taking view over Lisbon. It was first built in the 6th century and was occupied by the Romans and Visigoths before it became a Moorish royal residence. Portugal's first king captured it in 1147 and it was named after England's patron saint following the Anglo-Portuguese alliance. In one of its rooms (where Vasco da Gama was received after his voyage to India) is a collection of archaeological finds from around the castle, while one of the towers holds a periscope projecting images from around the city. The main attraction however, is walking around the ramparts and enjoying the views in the company of the roaming peacocks.

National Pantheon

Portugal's National Pantheon took three centuries to complete. It's a baroque monument built on an octagonal floor plan centered on a Greek cross, with a dome standing out in the city's skyline. It's the resting place of the most important cultural and political figures in the country, but perhaps most famous of all, singer Amália Rodrigues. It also includes some symbolic tombs of other personalities such as Vasco da Gama who is actually entombed elsewhere, in Jerónimos Monastery. Visitors may also go up to the dome's terrace for city views.
  National Pantheon

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora  

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

The white towers of this monastery stand out in Lisbon's skyline but it doesn't seem to get as many visitors as other monuments. Yet it offers one of the most fantastic views of the city from its rooftop terrace, and its extraordinary tiled interior is one of the most fascinating spaces in Lisbon (it holds the world's largest collection of baroque tiles - around 100,000 of them). La Fontaine's fables are told in a series of 38 tile panels around the serene cloisters, while an eerie mausoleum holds the tombs of the Bragança dynasty. One of them is that of Catherine of Bragança, a Portuguese princess who married Charles II and therefore became the Queen of England in 1662. Queens, New York was named after her.

Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon's cathedral has a stark interior and differs from other European cathedrals in looking more like a castle. It was built over an old mosque in the 12th century and mixes the Romanesque and Gothic styles, while inside by the entrance is the font where St. Anthony was baptized. In the back are the 14th-century cloisters revealing Roman, Visigoths and Moorish remains from archaeological excavations. Upstairs is the treasury which includes the priceless 19th-century King José monstrance made of precious gems.
  Lisbon Cathedral

Basilica of Estrela  

Basilica of Estrela

From outside, this is Lisbon's prettiest and most monumental church. It's a neoclassical basilica with a large rococo dome built in 1790 in thanks for the birth of Queen Maria I' son. The interior is covered in marble and contains the queen's tomb, as well as a huge Christmas manger with more than 500 figures. It is possible to visit the rooftop by the dome for city views. This is one of the main stops of trams 28 and 25, and across the church is the charming Estrela garden.

Christ King

Lisbon's version of Rio de Janeiro's famous monument was built across the Tagus River in thanks for the city's safety during WWII. It was unveiled in 1959 with a huge 28m (90ft) statue of Christ standing on a tall pedestal. Visitors can take an elevator that goes up to a terrace by the feet of the statue, offering a panoramic view of the entire city and 25 de Abril Bridge directly below. To get there, visitors can take a commuter ferry that departs from Cais do Sodré Station to the town of Cacilhas, from where bus 101 leaves for the monument.
  Cristo Rei


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