2023 Lisbon Trip (Day Two – Belém Tower)
The first historic destination we went to in Lisbon was Belém Tower (Torre de Belém), using one of the city trams which I’ll write about separately. Belém Tower, also known as the Tower of St. Vincent (Torre de São Vicente), is a historical monument which was built in the 16th century and is a prime example of the Manueline architectural style, which combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Moorish influences. The tower served as a key defensive structure for the city and played a significant role in Portugal’s maritime history. Today, it’s a tourist attraction, but a beautiful one.
The tower features several notable elements, including intricate stone carvings, a bastion with cannons, and a watchtower. It also includes a chapel dedicated to St. Vincent, the patron saint of Lisbon’s sailors. The tower has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portugal, so it’s fair to say that they’re very proud of it and it’s also another thing ticked off my list of World Heritage Sites. That’s another one of my main projects that I need to do more work on. Visitors to Belém Tower can climb to the top for panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River, which Bev and Susanna did, but Steve and I went for a wander around to avoid all of the tourists.
It’s accessed by a walkway which all adds to the anticipation of the tower. The limitation about these beautiful buildings is that the most attractive views are from outside looking at the structure rather than the other way around, so I was quite content just gazing at this piece of historic architecture.
Very artistic. Just to bring the blog back down in its quality once again, it’ll perhaps be most memorable in our group for toiletgate which took place beforehand. The local authorities think it’s a great idea to charge €0.50 to use the toilet, which isn’t ideal, but there we go. Steve and Susanna rushed in but I won’t dwell on that, leaving Bev outside with no money to get in. Patiently waiting for Susanna to return, although it transpired she was yelling within the toilets to the toilet attendant to let Bev in and she’d pay later, Bev bemoaned the charge and how she didn’t have any coins. All hunched up and complaining about her back it’s fair to say the visiting tourists took pity on her and before we know it, a kind man gave her the €0.50. Silver linings and all that…..