Destination List > Belém Tower
Photo by dchelyadnik
Belém Tower, officially the Tower of Saint Vincent, is a 16th-century fortification located in Lisbon that served as a point for Portuguese explorers to board their ships and as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.
It was built during the height of the Portuguese Renaissance, and is an example of the Portuguese Manueline style. The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion (part of the structure that angles out from the main wall) and a 30-metre (98.4 ft), four-storey tower.
Since 1983, the tower has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is often portrayed as a symbol of Europe's Age of Discoveries.
It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus river near the Lisbon shore.