Work done by:Aphroditie Iliopoulou Jan Palou Lucie Pultrova Mariana Vaz
• Belem Tower is a defense tower built in the Age of the Discoveries (when defending the city was really important) in tribute to the patron saint of the city, Saint Vicente.
In order to enhance the defense of Lisbon, King JoãoII drew up a plan that consisted of forming a three-fortress-defence on the Tagus estuary. It formed a triangleand on each angle, a fortress was constructed: Cascaisfortress on the right bank, S. Sebastião da Caparica on theleft bank and Belém Tower in the water.
• The tower is replete with Manueline decoration, symbols of the King’s power: cables encircling the building and terminating in elegant knots, armillary spheres, crosses of the Military Order of Christ and naturalistic elements such as the rhinoceros, the first such representation in stone known in Europe.
… with the construction of new, more modern and moreeffective defences, the Tower of Belém lost its role as defender of theentrance of the River Tagus.As centuries passed, new functions were given to the tower. It was acustoms control point, a telegraph station and even a lighthouse.
It also served as a political prison, its storerooms transformedinto dungeons, since the time when Philip II of Spain becameking of Portugal (1580) and during periods of political unrest.Finally, in 1983 UNESCO classified it as a World HeritageSite.
• We think you should visit Belem Tower because it´s a beautiful monument that throughout the times had an important role in our history, especially in the portuguese discoveries and it represents a very rich and gorgeous time in our history.