Discover the Fascinating Facts About Jerónimos Monastery
When you speak of architectural marvels around the world, you cannot miss out on the Jerónimos monastery built in 16th-century Portugal. The UNESCO world heritage site located on the river Tagus in Lisbon, it is one of the most frequented places by tourists and is even named among the seven wonders of the Mediterranean country, Portugal. The age-old architecture was built by the famous King Manuel I and is carved out of white limestone.
In this article, read about some amazing facts associated with Jerónimos monastery that will surely add the monument to your bucket list.
12 Jerónimos Monastery Facts
1. Featuring The Rare Manueline Style
Popularly known as Portuguese late Gothic architecture, this was one of the artworks that resulted from the transition during the age of the Renaissance. One of the striking features of this style of architecture is decorative paneling on windows, arcades, and pillars. The inlays on the stonework are intricately made, displaying complete craftsmanship. The Jerónimos monastery was designed by the influential architects Diogo Boitac and João de Castilho in Portuguese history.
2. One of The Seven Wonders of Portugal
If you are visiting Portugal, you may not want to miss the Jerónimos Monastery, which is named one of the seven wonders of the coastal nation. Not just this, there is an added advantage of visiting the place. You can also visit the Belem Tower, built during 1514-1520 AD, located a few minutes walk from the monastery. The Belem tower is among one of the seven wonders of Portugal.
3. Dedicated to Virgin Mary
As Portugal is a coastal country, the sailors frequented their navigation to and from the Belem. Hence, for the safety of voyagers who undertook navigation and made great advancements for Portugal, the monastery was consecrated. It was believed that it was the blessing of the Virgin Mary that made the voyage of famous explorer Vasco Da Gama and other sailors possible. Hence, the construction of Jerónimos Monastery was ordered in the year 1496.
4. The Significance of St. Jerome in the Jerónimo Monastery
The Jerónimo Monastery, also known as the Hieronymites Monastery, is named after St. Jerome, a Christian priest, theologian and historian who was one of the most learned scholars of the early Christian Church and is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, the "Vulgate". The name "Jerónimo" is the Spanish form of "Jerome".
5. Home to Monks
The Jerónimos monastery was earlier home to monks belonging to the Order of Saint Jerome. The main task of all the monks who resided in the monastery was to conduct spiritual discourse and pray for the welfare of the sailors and the King, along with his family members. Even though the system was ended in 1833, it is still one of those spaces with echoes of silent meditations, prayer, and spiritual orders from the monks residing at the monastery.
6. Home to One of The Famous Desserts
Pastel de Nata is one of the Portuguese custard tarts that was invented in Jerónimos monastery. It is believed that the monks who resided at the Jerónimos monastery used egg white to starch their white clothes. However, they did not let the egg yolk go to waste, and hence the yummiest pleasure of Pastel de Nata was discovered here. Even though the dessert has become quite famous now, the excitement to have this one served right to you in the place of its origin is beyond description!
7. Speaks of the Age of Discovery
The Portuguese-Gothic architecture was built around the time when Europe was witnessing a humongous change in art, science, philosophies, technologies, and other related fields. Additionally, it symbolizes the great wealth, power, and resource of the Portuguese country during the age. The Manueline architecture is a homage to the era of discovery during which the Jerónimos monastery was built.
8. Burial Space of Many Personalities
The monastery is now the resting place of some of the members of the ruling class and their families. King Manuel I, along with the family members, were laid to rest here. Besides, one of the famous sailors and explorers of all times who opened the trade route to India, Vasco da Gama, is buried here. His remain from St. Francis CSI Church of Kochi in India was initially transferred to the monastery of Nossa Senhora das Relíquias and later to Jerónimos monastery.
9. Thai Pavilion in Portuguese Architecture
To commemorate the eventful day of the Portuguese arrival in Thailand and mark the 500 years of the friendly journey together, a Thai pavilion/ Sala Thai, built-in Bangkok was sent to Jerónimos monastery. The pavilion is 22 feet high and ornamented in a red and golden structure. The roof of the pavilion resembles the skin of a dragon that is famous in other Thai architecture too.
10. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Jerónimos Monastery is named one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and draws millions of tourists from around the world. The world organization declared this in 1983, along with the Tower of Belem. Besides, it is one of the most frequented sites in the world, and Portugal, in general, is known for its mesmerizing architecture, spaces, lawns, and grand fountain. It was declared the national monument of Portugal in 1907 and is on the bucket list of tourists traveling to the country.
11. Spacious Interiors and Painting Inside
The columns of the wall have been intricately carved with utmost attention to the designs of any creature, floral art, etc. The hanging gargoyles on the top and minute paneling and design on the walls are something to look forward to. The Jerónimos Monastery is 300 meters long and has a beautifully decorated facade. One of the major paintings that you will find across the monument is from the life of St. Jerome. This includes: O Penitente no deserto(Penitent in desert), O Doutor da Igreja(Doctor in the church), and O Estudioso na sua cela (The Studious in the Cell).
12. Took More than 100 Years to Complete
It took the sculptors and architects more than 100 years to build the monastery in its entirety. The architecture has stood strong for generations now. The great Earthquake of 1755 left some changes in the monument that was built way back. Even today, the architecture of the monastery is seen as one of the finest and most well-built places in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions About Jerónimos Monastery Facts
A. Jerónimos Monastery is a former monastery in Lisbon, Portugal, built in the late 15th century in the Manueline style. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and tourist destination.
A. It took almost 100 years to complete the Jerónimos monastery, and monks from the Order of Saint Jerome used the monastery to pray, meditate, and offer spiritual discourses.
A. Jerónimos monastery is located in the Lisbon Municipality near the banks of river Tagus in Portugal.
A. The construction of the church began in 1501, and it took almost 100 years to complete the entire building process.
A. The Jerónimos monastery was opened in 1495. However, the construction began only in 1501 and took more than a century to complete.
A. The Jerónimos monastery was built on the orders of King Manuel I, who used the revenues from trade with Africa and India to build the magnanimous architecture.
A. Most of the paintings and works in the Jerónimos monastery are dedicated to the life of St. Jerome, accompanied by a lion and the Holy Bible. This includes O Penitente no deserto, O Estudioso na sua cela, and O Doutor da Igreja.
A. There are ten paintings dedicated to the Apostles, one to St. Jerome and another one to St. Augustine. Besides, there are many ornate sculptures within the architecture compound dedicated to saints, mythical creatures, and other prominent elements.