Torre de Belém, The iconic tower of Lisbon (with Map & Photos)

The Belém Tower (Torre de Belém) is one of the most outstanding monuments in Lisbon. It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Belem Tower Lisbon
Belem Tower Lisbon

Beautiful and photogenic, it rose at the mouth of the Tagus River to the sea. Its objective was that of a fortress to protect the entrance to Lisbon, but it also served other purposes of which we speak below.

Its construction took place between 1514 and 1519 during the reign of King D. Manuel I.

The Belém Tower also served as the starting point for many of the Portuguese expeditions.

Belem Tower Lisbon
Belem Tower Lisbon

Its stone façade has details of Islamic and oriental influences, classic of the Manuelino style. The stone is worked with nationalistic motifs, elements inspired by nature, discoveries, and religion.

This monument from the Age of Discoveries is one of the main places to visit in one of the most famous neighborhoods in Lisbon, the Belém neighborhood.

Belem Tower Lisbon
Belem Tower Lisbon

Particularities of the Belém Tower


The Belém Tower was dedicated to Saint Vincent (patron of Lisbon) and while it was being built, a few meters away the Jerónimos Monastery was already standing. Since then they have been related by their location and architectural style.

Belem Tower Lisbon
Belem Tower Lisbon

Francisco de Arruda, the architect of the work, had worked in other fortresses in Morocco, so the Moorish influences in the work can also be noticed.

Over time the fortification went from having a defensive function to serving as a customs registry, and as dungeons during the reign of Felipe I of Spain.

Belém Tower Map