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Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal, in Photos

By alison - May 23, 2012 (Updated: March 9, 2015)

This entry is part 3 of 24 in the series Portugal & Andalusia 2012.
Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

Our recent trip to Portugal and Andalusia included visits to numerous religious sites. By far, one of the most spectacular was Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal. Today we share we you a photo tour of this impressive site.

Jerónimos Monastery, also known as the Hieronymites Monastery, or Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Portuguese, was the second UNESCO World Heritage site we visited in Lisbon. It is listed alongside the nearby, and equally ornate, Belem Tower.

Started in 1501, Jerónimos Monastery took 100 years to build, on the site of the former home of the Hieronymite religious order. Its ornate style and the addition of newly discovered gold made it a symbol of Portuguese wealth and development.

Its home, at the mouth of the Tagus River made the church the primary place of worship for seamen entering or leaving Lisbon.

Approaching the monastery from the Monument to the Discoveries, you pass through a beautiful formal garden, to arrive at the ornate South Portal, designed by Juan de Castilho. This magnificent door is two stories tall and includes a sculpture of Henry the Navigator among its many carvings.

South Portal and interior of Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal

South Portal (centre) and interior of Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal

Inside the church, it is impossible not to be impressed by the huge, vaulted ceilings. Two rows of columns support the ceiling. Their organic design almost resembles trees reaching into the clouds.

Jerónimos Monastery Church Interior

Jerónimos Monastery Church Interior

The monastery itself is based around a huge (55 x 55m) cloister, open to the elements. This is surrounded by two stories of ornate archways. The decorations include nautical themes, animals, plants and other symbolic motifs.

The two storey cloister of Jerónimos Monastery

The two storey cloister of Jerónimos Monastery
Details of the cloister of Jerónimos Monastery

Details of the cloister of Jerónimos Monastery

I couldn’t help but wander through the cloister with my camera shutter clicking furiously. Back in my digital darkroom it was easy to envisage romantic, fairytale scenes. Here are a couple of my favourites:

The beautiful arched cloister

The beautiful arched cloister
View through the cloister arch

View through the cloister arch
A antique (looking) view on the cloister

An antique (looking) view on the cloister
The fairytale cloister

The fairytale cloister

Have you been to Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon? What did you think of your visit? Do you have any other favourite monasteries we should check out? Leave your comments below.

Love castles, palaces, ruins, or buildings like in this article? Us too! Don’t miss the full listing of Castles we’ve visited in Europe and beyond.

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Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She is currently slow travelling through Europe in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
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2 comments

  1. Comment by Cristina (@thetravolution)

    Cristina (@thetravolution) May 30, 2012 at 22:09

    After spending a long day in Cascais, we weren’t planning on stopping in Belem but I was glad we did. For such a tiny town, this piece of architecture is incredibly big! Stunning pictures.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison May 31, 2012 at 08:56

      Thanks Cristina! Yes, Belem is certainly a different vibe from the rest of Lisbon. I was glad we went there too 🙂

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