We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Incredible!☺”

Santa Maria de Belem Church
Book In Advance
More Info
US$45.18*
and up
Belém Walking Tour in Lisbon Including...
Ranked #30 of 485 things to do in Lisbon
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 13 August 2017

Belém in Portuguese refers to Bethlehem. This magnificent church architecture is in Late Gothic Manueline style, best expressed in the Western Portal also transitions from Gothic/Manueline to the ornate Renaissance architecture, in the early 1500s. Many of Lisbon’s most significant historical edifices are in the immediate area, including adjacent Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, which is across the street at the edge of Tagus River. Although it resembles one, this is not a cathedral, which is so designated as the seat of a cardinal. The ‘church’ was known as Ermida do Restelo (Hermitage of Restelo) and had already fallen into disrepair when Vasco da Gama and his sailors prayed the entire night before departing on their 1497 expedition to the Orient. (Tourists now pray for flights to depart on time, and no missed connections or lost luggage☺)

The Church features a Latin cross floorplan configuration. There are three naves and a single polinervada vaulted ceiling supported by six pillars on a circular base. The vaulted ceiling spans 30 meters, the greatest width possible given the limited number of supports and flying buttresses. The Church takes on the air of a museum. One of the most famous is “The Penitent in the Desert” near the tomb/sarcophagus of Vasco da Gama. It depicts an emaciated saint in the desert while meditating in front of a crucifix. The Church, Monastery, and Belém Tower were classified UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983. Words of caution: Dozens of mega-tour buses arrive from midmorning to afternoon. Queues for the Church, Tower, and Monastery are exceptionally long. The tour companies purchase time-stamped tickets, so those visitors pass by the long lines. There are “Skip The Line” tours, but they are exceptionally expensive, and so regimented that if you’re five minutes late, you lose the opportunity—and no refund! Avoid weekends or national holidays.

1  Thank DeanMurphy2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (322)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages
All reviews
"manueline style"
in 7 reviews
"stained glass"
in 4 reviews
"final resting place"
in 3 reviews
"vaulted ceilings"
in 3 reviews
"upper choir"
in 3 reviews
"portuguese discoveries"
in 3 reviews
"stone elephants"
in 2 reviews
"latin cross"
in 2 reviews
"side chapels"
in 2 reviews
"king manuel"
in 2 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 2 reviews
"free entry"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful architecture"
in 3 reviews
"tagus river"
in 2 reviews
"gama"
in 10 reviews
"nave"
in 5 reviews
"belem"
in 24 reviews
Filter

56 - 60 of 322 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2017

Top Tip when visiting.

When approaching the Santa Maria de Belem Church the long queues of people give you the impression that you have to queue to gain entry.

That is not the case as the queues of people are for entry to the adjoining monastery.

Walk through the queues and enter the church from the right hand side.

You will be amazed!!!!!

2  Thank BikerSteve1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2017

I've visited Santa Maria De Belem twice now. The first time it was quite busy and I didn't feel I could fully appreciate this beautiful church with the distractions of chatter and large groups of tourists swarming. The second time I visited we arrived during the Sunday service and whilst we couldn't wander freely around the entire church I much preferred this visit. The choir were in full song when we entered and it was actually really quite moving, I felt I could fully appreciate it as a place of worship rather than just as a beautiful building.
The line can be quite long but it moves quickly and is well managed but I would recommend visiting when it's quieter to really enjoy it.

Thank Trelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2017

When visiting the monastery in Belem the church is connected and a must see! Start by touring the monastery cloister and then end your visit with a trip inside this beautiful church. Make sure you go upstairs to the balcony which can be accessed from the monastery. The view from up here is incredible! Once you get downstairs you will be awestruck as you see the architecture, art and inspiration. Take your time and enjoy this beautiful holy site.

Thank mfair5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 13 July 2017

This church is one of the most spectacular I ever visited. Not by it's dimensions, but by it's building style. It's so exciting and different than other churches in Europe.

Thank Christophe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Santa Maria de Belem Church also viewed

 
Lisbon, Lisbon District
Lisbon, Lisbon District
 

Been to Santa Maria de Belem Church? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing