Everything You Need to Know About Jerónimos Monastery

The Jeronimos Monastery stands as a remarkable relic of Portugal's Age of Discovery. Constructed in 1502 by King Manuel I on Prince Henry the Navigator's hermitage site, where Vasco da Gama and crew prayed before their India voyage. It commemorate...

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Hieronymites Monastery

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Built in the late 1400s under King Manuel I, the Jerónimos Monastery pays homage to the Age of Discoveries. Serving as a refuge for seafarers and a haven for praying monks at the embarkation point of Vasco da Gama's journey to India, it was funded by a 5% tax on foreign imports, reflecting Portugal's flourishing success.

The monastery's central courtyard, where pastéis de nata (also known as pastéis de Belém) was crafted, holds a culinary secret. Developed by the monks residing here, this beloved Portuguese pastry's recipe predates its first recorded sale in the 1830s by over a century.

Built over the 1500s, the Jerónimos Monastery showcases Manueline-style architecture, named after King Manuel I. Influenced by sea voyages, it integrates maritime and religious symbols, including anchors and ropes. Gothic and Renaissance styles further enrich the building's design, leaving visitors in awe.

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Why Visit Jeronimos Monastery?

  • Gothic and Manueline Style: Marvel at the intricately carved stonework and stunning architecture.
  • Historical Significance: Learn about Portugal's Age of Discoveries and Vasco da Gama's voyages to India.
  • Monastery's Pastoral Role: Explore the monks' quarters and appreciate the peaceful cloisters and gardens.
  • National Pantheon: Pay respects to Portugal's most famous figures interred in the church's grandeur.
  • Museums and Exhibitions: Admire the monastery's art and artifacts on display, including the Maritime Museum.
  • Taste Portugal's Pastries: Visit the famous Pastéis de Belém bakery next door to taste the iconic custard tarts.

History of Jeronimos Monastery in a Nutshell

Construction Begins (1501):

  • King Manuel I orders the construction of the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • The monastery is built in the Gothic style with Manueline elements.

Completion of the Church (1541):

  • The construction of the church, the most significant part of the monastery, is completed after 40 years of work.
  • The church is dedicated to St. Mary of Belém.

Famous Burials:

  • Many notable figures of Portuguese history are buried in the church, including Vasco da Gama and poet Luís de Camões.

Earthquake Damage (1755):

  • The Great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 causes significant damage to the monastery and the church.
  • The monastery is used as a barracks for French troops during the Napoleonic Wars.

Restoration and UNESCO Designation (1833-1983):

  • The Portuguese government begins restoration work on the monastery in 1833.
  • In 1983, the Jeronimos Monastery is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Papal Visit (1967):

  • Pope Paul VI visits the Jeronimos Monastery during his trip to Portugal.
  • He celebrates Mass in the church and visits the tomb of Vasco da Gama.

500th Anniversary (2001):

  • The monastery celebrates its 500th anniversary with a series of events and exhibitions.
  • The celebrations include the unveiling of a new statue of King Manuel I.

Recent Restoration (2010-2011):

  • A major restoration project takes place from 2010 to 2011, funded by the Portuguese government and private donors.
  • The restoration focuses on the church and cloisters and includes cleaning, repair, and conservation work.

Architecture & Design of Jeronimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery About

The Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal, is a stunning example of Manueline architecture, a style that developed in Portugal during the reign of King Manuel I. The monastery's facade is a masterpiece of intricate carvings, featuring symbols of the sea and the discoveries made by Portuguese explorers. The church's interior is equally impressive, with its soaring vaulted ceilings and ornate altarpieces.

The cloisters are a highlight of the monastery, featuring arches and columns adorned with carvings of exotic animals and sea monsters. The overall design of the monastery blends Gothic elements with Manueline decorative motifs, creating a unique and stunning example of Portuguese architecture.

What To Do At Jeronimos Monastery?

Jerónimos Monastery About

Explore The Cloisters

The Jeronimos Monastery is famous for its beautiful cloisters, with intricate stone carvings and ornate arches. Take a stroll through the peaceful courtyard and marvel at the impressive architecture.

Jerónimos Monastery About

Visit The Library

The monastery's library is a hidden gem, containing rare books and manuscripts from the 16th century. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the library and its collections.

Jerónimos Monastery About

Visit The Adjoining Rooms

The monastery also features several adjoining rooms that were used for various purposes, including a chapter house and a refectory. Explore these rooms to get a glimpse into the daily life of the monks who once lived here.

Jerónimos Monastery About

Try a Pastel de Belém

No visit to the Jeronimos Monastery is complete without trying a pastel de Belém, a delicious Portuguese pastry that originated in the nearby neighborhood of Belém. The monastery's café serves some of the best pastries in the city.

Jerónimos Monastery About

Visit Santa Maria Church

The Jeronimos Monastery is also home to the Santa Maria Church, which features beautiful stained glass windows and an impressive altar. Attend a mass or simply take in the serene atmosphere of the church.

Jerónimos Monastery About

Marvel at The Manueline Style Architecture

The monastery is considered one of the finest examples of Manueline style architecture, a Portuguese style that incorporates intricate carvings and maritime motifs. Admire the unique style of the building's facade and interior.

Jerónimos Monastery About

Visit the Tomb of Vasco da Gama

The famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is buried in the monastery's nave, and his tomb is a popular attraction for visitors. Learn about da Gama's life and accomplishments as you pay your respects at his final resting place.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon

What is the Jeronimos Monastery?

The Jeronimos Monastery is a historic monastery located in Lisbon, Portugal. It was built in the 16th century and is known for its impressive Manueline-style architecture.

When was the Jeronimos Monastery built?

Construction of the Jeronimos Monastery began in 1501 and was completed in 1601.

What is there to see at the Jeronimos Monastery?

Visitors can explore the monastery's cloisters, library, adjoining rooms, and Santa Maria Church. They can also marvel at the impressive Manueline-style architecture and visit the tomb of Vasco da Gama.

What is a pastel de Belém?

A pastel de Belém is a traditional Portuguese pastry made with a custard filling and a flaky crust. The pastry originated in the neighborhood of Belém, which is located near the Jeronimos Monastery.

Why is Jeronimos Monastery famous

The Jerónimos Monastery is famous for its architecture and history.

Why is Jeronimos Monastery famous?

Jeronimos Monastery is famous for its stunning architecture, which is a combination of Gothic and Manueline styles.

Who is buried in Jeronimos Monastery?

Famous Portuguese figures, such as Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões, are buried in Jeronimos Monastery.

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