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“Beautiful Monastery Church”

Santa Maria de Belem Church
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US$59.44*
and up
Lisbon Private Full-Day Guided Landmark Tour by...
Ranked #29 of 497 things to do in Lisbon
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 4 September 2017

Attached to the Jeronimos Monastery, this church is well worth a visit, whether from ground level via the main doors, or viewing from the balcony at the rear - accessed via the Monastery cloisters.

As decoration goes, this is far more ornate and better gilded than the Se Cathedral in central Lisbon - the contrast is striking!

Thank OnTheCoastAl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"manueline style"
in 6 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
"buried here"
in 2 reviews
"king manuel"
in 2 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 2 reviews
"free entry"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful architecture"
in 3 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 3 reviews
"tagus river"
in 2 reviews
"gama"
in 10 reviews
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61 - 65 of 374 reviews

Reviewed 30 August 2017

Entering this church, you will note that the architectural design is appealing. There is something very stately and regal about it's appearance. It's quite beautiful to see. It was quite busy on the day we arrived and I believe that to be the case every day.

Well worth dropping in to see if you are in the area.

Thank Crystalline4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2017

Santa Maria de Belem is famous not only for its ethereal beauty, but also as a place of worship for Portuguese explorers, sailors and fishermen who came here to pray and ask for protection before embarking on their long journeys. Vasco de Gama and his sailors asked The Lady of All Navigators for good fortune before their journey to the far-off lands that were to become part of the might Portuguese Empire. Vasco de Gama's tomb is in the nave of this church.

The church's architecture is stunning - pay attention to the elaborate columns and the stained glass windows. The interior is lit by sunlight coming into the nave from the high dome painting the old walls and the columns in miraculous light cream color. The church nave shines on a bright sunny day... Magical place...

Tips:
1. The church entrance is free and you do not need to buy a ticket, if you are not planning to visit the Jeronimus Monastery (by the way, to miss the Monastery would be a BIG mistake)
2. You can buy a combination ticket for the Jeronimus Monastery and the Tower of Belem at the Monastery ticket office, but do visit the Monastery first. The line for the tickets is long, so buy online.

1  Thank Noraatc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2017

Jeronimos is one of the best examples of the Manuelino style, a portuguese, very interesting and original architectural style from the era of the portuguese discoveries. The claustros are charming and the church is an essential visit.

Thank Helena A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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

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