Located on the banks of the Tagus River, it was built in 1519 to defend the city from invaders and has since become a symbol for Portuguese maritime exploration.
The Belém Tower stands at an impressive 55 meters tall and is constructed out of limestone blocks that were shipped from nearby Sintra. It’s unique Manueline style architecture consists of intricate carvings featuring symbols such as armillary spheres, knots, and crosses which are characteristic of 16th century Portuguese culture. The tower also features four turrets with conical roofs that stand at attention along its walls, adding to its grandeur.
Inside the tower, visitors can explore two floors filled with artefacts related to Portugal’s Age of Discovery (15th-16th centuries). You will find navigational instruments used by sailors during their expeditions such as astrolabes and compasses; models depicting ships used during these voyages; maps showing routes taken around Africa; paintings illustrating battles between Portuguese forces and enemies such as North African pirates; weapons like cannons used for defence against attackers; coins minted during this period; religious items associated with patron saints who protected sailors on their travels – all providing insight into life during this exciting time in history when Portugal was becoming a major power thanks to its explorations across oceans unknown before then.
Today, Belém Tower is listed by UNESCO as part of a World Heritage Site known collectively as “Cultural Landscape Of Sintra” due to its importance in telling stories about Portugal’s past adventures overseas – making it a must-see destination for anyone visiting Lisbon or looking for historical sites near them.