Portugal Tourism: Jeronimos Monastery in Belem

One of the  essential visits  on your  tourist trip to Lisbon , in  Portugal , is undoubtedly  the Jeronimos Monastery , a monument of the early 16th century and the greatest exponent of the so-called  Manueline architecture .

'Jeronimos Monastery' Image Credits: Flickr Under Creative Common License

And you should know that to visit it you have to go to  the Belem neighborhood  following the course of  the Tagus River  west of Lisbon , where you will arrive after passing under the great  25 de Abril Bridge,  and where you find other interesting monuments such as, for example, the Torre de Belem .

The Jeronimos Monastery began to be built in 1501 and was completed a century later, although it continued to be built and modified in later centuries.

This monument is one of the best examples of the aforementioned Manueline architectural style, a name that is due to the fact that his mentor was King Manuel I of Portugal, which combines the Gothic and Renaissance styles, with Plateresque corners.

How to get to the Jeronimos monastery from Lisbon?

To go to Belem from the center of Lisbon to visit this imposing monastery, if you do not have a car, it is best to take tram 15 that leaves from the Commerce Square in Lisbon. It will take you less than half an hour to reach Belem and, therefore, to the monastery.

Or you can also take a bus; for example, line 28, which runs along the entire edge of the Tagus and in the opposite direction would take you to the Oceanarium.

How to visit the Jeronimos monastery?

Already in Belem, perhaps to visit its famous monastery you prefer to do it with the advice of a guide in Spanish. For this you have the option to sign up for this Belem Tour and the Jeronimos Monastery, very well valued, lasting three hours and in which the visit of this lavish monument is the main axis of it.

You also have the alternative of a full visit of Lisbon in one day in which among other monuments, you will know the Jeronimos monastery.

What to see in the visit of the Jeronimos monastery?

If instead you prefer to visit on your own, the first thing that will catch your attention is the imposing facade of the building, which extends about 300 meters. It clearly distinguishes the church and the area that corresponds to the monastery, which surrounds the great interior cloister.

The most prominent element of this facade is, without a doubt, the profusely decorated South Gate.

Church of Santa Maria de Belem

Once you enter the monastery, the first thing you will visit is the church of Santa Maria de Belem, where you can see a great sample of Manueline architecture.

The result in the Jeronimos monastery church is a building with a clear Gothic configuration, with a Latin cross plan and a large central nave divided into three parts of similar height. The high columns and ceilings decorated with profuse ribs stand out above all.

This church began to be built in 1514, but remodeling has been under way until almost the 20th century.

You have the entrance to the church next to the lockers of the Jeronimos monastery, and the ornate decoration of each of its architectural elements, such as columns, graves, etc. ... will immediately catch your attention.

In this regard, the dome with a poly-preserved roof stands in the center of the church's cruiser. However, it will be in front of two large graves where you are going to stop. As you enter the church, on the right you have the tomb of Luis de Camoens, and on the opposite side you can see the tomb of Vasco de Gama.

These spectacular graves of the aforementioned great characters in the history of Portugal were made in the 19th century by the Portuguese sculptor Costa Moat. When you visit the Jeronimos Monastery, when you go up to the second floor of the cloister, do not forget to enter the choir room of the Santa Maria de Belem church.

From here, in addition to seeing the beautiful choir, you will have a very good panoramic view of the mentioned temple, as well as details of its rib roof.

Cloister of the Jeronimos monastery

The other great corner to visit in this monastery is its great cloister, where the Manueline style is also presented.

The most prominent corners of this cloister are the Refectory, a large room where you can also see a beautiful decoration with tiles, and the Chapter Hall.

Jeronimos monastery opening hours

The visiting hours of the Jeronimos Monastery in Belem are from May to September, every day of the week, from 10 am to 6.30 pm, with last entry half an hour before. On Mondays the monastery is closed for visits.

You also have to keep in mind that from October to April the closing time is 17, 30 hours.

Prices: Jeronimos monastery tickets

The ticket prices (2019) to visit the Jeronimos monastery are, generally, 10 euros, and the joint ticket to visit the monastery and the nearby Belem Tower, 12 euros.

If you are going to visit the monastery during the holiday season, a bridge or a weekend, it is definitely worth buying the priority tickets of the Jeronimos monastery before your trip, with which you ensure quick access is to have to wait for the long lines that are usually formed in this monument.

Seniors +65, children aged 15 to 18 who are accompanied by at least one adult, Young card holders, and students have a 50 percent discount.

For its part, admission is free for children under 14 years old and holders of the Lisboa Card. And here you have more information about the groups that can visit the Jeronimos monastery for free.

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