Royal Destination - Belém Tower in Lisbon - Portugal

A real UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lisbon is certainly the
Belém Tower in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém.


Belèm Tower in Lisbon - Portugal - own picture from 2017


Besides that the Belèm Tower played a huge role in the
Portuguese Martime discoveries of the era of the Age of
Discoveries.

Some (Royal) History

At the end of the 15th.century King John II wanted a defense
system for the mouth of the Tagus, then it depended on the
fortresses of Cascas and Torre Velha in Caparica on the
south side of the river. These didn't completely protect the
river Tagus. Therefore King John II ordered a strong fortress,
but he died before the plans were drawn.


Belèm Tower - Lisbon - Portugal - own picture from 2017


King Manuel I of Portugal reviewed the plans 20 years later
and he ordered the construction of a military fortification on the
northern part of the Tagus at Belém.

The Tower was designed by military architect Francisco de Arruda,
and in 1516 the project started.

Inside the Tower of Belèm - Lisbon - own picture from 2017

Military - Tower of Belèm - Lisbon - Portugal - own picture


The building was finished in 1519, just two years before Manuel 's
death.

When French forces invaded Lisbon during the Peninsular War,
detachments of their troops were quartered in the tower between
1808 and 1814.

In 1983 the site hosted the 17th. European Exhibition on Art,
Science and Culture. The same year the Belèm Tower was
classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

on the Tower of Belèm - own picture taken in 2017