- Type: Castles, Palaces & Historic Buildings
NileGuide Expert Says:
Portugal's golden Age of Discoveries is epitomised by this extraordinary building, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
NileGuide Expert tip:
The best time to visit is late afternoon, long after the tour buses have departed.
- One of the city's great historic landmarks, this early 16th-century masterpiece of Manueline architecture stands as a monument to Portugal's great era of exploration, its Age of Discovery. Commissioned by Manuel I in 1501, the monastery, a celebrates Vasco da Gama's intrepid 1498 voyage to India which opened up a sea route from Europe to the subcontinent and initiated the lucrative spice trade. The exuberant decoration unites religious themes with nautical motifs and the filigree stonework is astonishing in its detail. The richly carved imagery is particularly evident throughout the beautiful arcaded cloister – the ornamentation resembles delicate lacework. A highpoint is the spectacular church nave and its vaulted ceiling, a veritable spider's web of sinewy limestone supported by sleek, lofty columns. The polished tombs of Vasco da Gama and the 16th-century poet Luís de Camões, whose epic Os Lusìadas chronicles the Discoveries, are found near the entrance. © NileGuide2011
The Jeronimos Monastery , which is made entirely out of limestone was built to thank God for the safe return of all those Portuguese explorers who had ventured out on dangerous exploits. You can admire the hand-sculptured walls which are covered with assorted exotic images. Images of tropical plants, wild animals, and African and Asian tribes line the exterior of the monastery. Inside you will find three tombs: the tomb of Vasco da Gama, the great Portuguese explorer who discovered the maritime route to India, the next belongs to Dom Manuel, the king who was in power at the time of da Gamas journeys, and finally the tomb of Luis de Camões, the poet who accompanied da Gama on his many travels.
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