January 25, 2011

Visiting Lisbon - Tower Belém

There is plenty to see in Lisbon, the capitol of Portugal.  So while visiting earlier this month we tried to take in as much as possible of the old merging with the new during the few days that we spent exploring the city.

I think it would be best to do a few posts about some of my favorite sites during our visit rather then try and lump everything into one post.

So on that note, I want to start with the Tower Belém on the River Tagus.  Also known as Tower of St. Vincent, the tower was built in the 16th century on a basalt island located close to the right bank of the Tagus.

In time, with the construction of new, more modern and more effective defences, the Tower of Belém lost its role as defender of the entrance of the River Tagus.

As centuries passed, new functions were given to the tower. It was a customs control point, a telegraph station and even a lighthouse.

It also served as a political prison, its storerooms transformed into dungeons, since the time when Philip II of Spain became king of Portugal (1580) and during periods of political unrest. Finally, in 1983 UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site.
UNESCO says...

Belem Tower was declared a World Heritage monument because:

"It is a reminder of the great maritime discoveries that laid the foundations of the modern world."

If you would like to see more pictures of this fascinating castle just click "Where's Debbie" and then click on the album "Tower Belem"


  1. Great shots!
    I've got some of that tower too but none with the details!
    Thanks for sharing;o)

    Have a beautiful day****

  2. I have read about the Tower Belém, but I have never seen such marvelously detailed pictures of the tower. Thank you.

  3. Nice impressive structure next to the river.


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