Belém, a former fishing village, was the place from which many of the voyages of discovery started in the 15th century. Today it is one of the most beautiful districts in Lisbon with many museums, parks, and attractions!
You will begin this tour back in the 16th century when the Belém Fortress was built. Five centuries later, this unique fort is considered the symbol of the city and World Heritage Site.
The Monument of the Discoveries, with the statue of Prince Henry the Navigator and 30 other personalities, describes the epic discoveries of the Portuguese in the 15th and 16th centuries. It embodies the power and wealth in the golden age of discoveries and is considered a symbol of Portugal’s glorious history. Vasco da Gama set out from here on his sea voyage to India on 8 July 1497.
King Manuel I, who was reigning at the time, had the monastery complex in Belém built to mark the happy return of the navigator and to demonstrate Portugal’s power and prestige. Nowadays, this monastery is divided into 4 different museums and houses the most visited church in Lisbon. The famous cloister is a gothic and renaissance construction decorated with the outstanding Manueline style, is also worth a visit.
To regain your energy, there is nothing better than to enter the historic pastry shop, whose rooms are decorated with beautiful tiles. The custard tart of Belém (Pastel de Belém) made in this café is renowned for its quality.