A minha Lista de blogues

segunda-feira, 20 de maio de 2013

A tourist in Belem

The parish council of Santa Maria de Belem, created in 1833, is unique in the world- it has two monuments considered by UNESCO as World Heritage: Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower. 

Jerónimos was an idea of king Manuel I of Portugal (1469-1521). He wanted to build a monument to take advantage of the vast amounts of money that came from Africa and India.

 He wanted people to be impressed when they looked at it.

Works started in 1501, directed by Boitaca, the king´s favourite architect and finished 100 years later. The monument is in front of the Tagus River, just in the place where a small chapel was located. The cloister can´t be missed. It looks like stone embroidery.

The originality of Jerónimos lies in its style, called “ Manueline style” in honour of the king and it is unique in the world. The ornaments were inspired from the Discoveries and we can find exotic plants, animals from faraway places, anchors and ropes used in ships, instruments for navigation and above all the armillary sphere, a symbol of the King´s power over the world. 

Belém Tower  was built between 1514 and 1520, near the end of King Manuel´s reign, in order to protect the entrance of Lisbon from pirates' attacks. It is also in “Manueline style” but reflects Eastern influence with its Moorish looking cupolas. 

These monuments together with the Monument to the Discoveries, Belém Palace, the official residence of the presidents of the Republic of Portugal, the amazing Coach museum, the botanical garden, not to forget the famous Belem custard tarts, one of the greatest delicacies from Portugal, are described in the book “Belém” written by Fatima Pinto de Meneses, a former History teacher in my school.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário