jeronimos monastery

Having lived in Lisbon, I invite you to explore the awe-inspiring Jerónimos Monastery, a profound relic from Portugal’s Age of Discovery.

Constructed in 1502 by King Manuel I on the site where Vasco da Gama and his crew prayed before their India voyage, this monument embodies the city’s rich history.

Join me in commemorating Da Gama’s successful journey as you delve into the fascinating heritage of Lisbon at the Jerónimos Monastery.

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Jeronimos Monastery History


Nestled in the heart of Lisbon, the Jerónimos Monastery, also known as the Hieronymites Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery of Santa Maria de Belém, is a profound testament to Portugal’s maritime legacy.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, alongside the iconic Belém Tower, beckons visitors to immerse themselves in its rich tapestry of history and cultural significance.

Conceptualized by the visionary Portuguese architect Diogo de Boitaca, the Monastery was designed to honor the triumphant return of Vasco da Gama from India.

Its construction commenced on 6 January 1501, unfolding over almost two centuries before reaching completion in the seventeenth century. The masterpiece showcases the intricate Manueline architecture, a distinctive Portuguese late Gothic architecture.

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What makes the Jerónimos Monastery even more captivating is its intriguing location. It stands on the grounds of the former Ermida do Restelo. Vasco da Gama and his crew sought solace and divine blessings in this chapel before embarking on their historic voyage down the African coast to India.

Thus, the Monastery commemorates da Gama’s successful journey and is deeply intertwined with the prayers and aspirations that preceded it. As you explore the history within these hallowed walls, venture into the nearby Belém district to experience another facet of Portugal’s cultural heritage — the renowned pastéis de nata.

While the exact origin of the pastel de nata is often attributed to the Jerónimos Monastery, historical records don’t explicitly confirm its creation within the monastery walls.

Nevertheless, indulging in these delectable custard tarts at Pasteis de Belem adds a delightful and sweet note to your exploration, connecting you with the culinary traditions that have evolved alongside Portugal’s rich history.

Things to See at Jerónimos Monastery

Embark on a journey through the captivating Jerónimos Monastery, a treasure trove of cultural and historical wonders in Lisbon. As you explore, marvel at the unique features that set it apart.

The Church of Santa Maria


Step into a world of unparalleled beauty within the Church of Santa Maria.

Its singular nave, supported by six exquisitely sculpted columns, creates an ethereal ambiance that seems to stretch into infinity.

The sacred space also houses the final resting places of two revered figures: Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões, a distinguished Portuguese poet and writer.

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Venture into the two-story Cloister of the Jerónimos Monastery, a masterpiece surpassing even Lisbon Cathedral’s nunnery in size and breathtaking ornamentation.

As you explore, witness the Church of Santa Maria from an elevated perspective and encounter the tomb of Fernando Pessoa, an illustrious Portuguese writer and poet.

One of the abbey’s halls offers a fascinating dedication to the Monastery’s history, drawing insightful parallels with the nation’s evolution and the broader world.

Immerse yourself in this historical haven’s intricate symbolism and captivating beauty.

Jerónimos Monastery Opening Hours and Visitor Tips

Monastère des Hiéronymites, Lisbonne, Portugal
Jerónimos Monastery / Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Visiting Belém Tower and heading to the Monastery are both popular tourist attractions. Here is how you can plan your trip ahead of time:

Opening Hours:

  • October – April: 10 AM to 5:30 PM
  • May – September: 10 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Closed: Mondays, 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 December.

Best Time to Visit Jeronimos Monastery:

  • Weekdays: Opt for Mondays and Tuesdays for a quieter experience, arriving at 10 AM to avoid midday rush.
  • Weekends: Expect larger crowds; visit at 10 AM or consider the low tourist season (November-February) for fewer tourists.

Peak Season vs Low Season:

  • Peak Season (May-September): Warm and sunny weather attracts crowds—book in advance to avoid queues.
  • Low Season (October-April): Cooler temperatures, fewer tourists, and budget-friendly options. Ideal for a relaxed experience.

Where is Jeronimos Monastery?

Location and UNESCO Heritage:

  • Situated in Lisbon’s Belem district, overlooking the Tagus River.
  • Adjacent to landmarks like Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries.
  • Exemplifies Manueline architecture and holds UNESCO World Heritage status.

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How to Get to Jeronimos Monastery via Public Transport:

By Bus:

  • Take bus lines 727, 28, 729, 714, or 751, alighting at the “Mosteiro dos Jerónimos” or “Belém/Jerónimos” stop.
  • Buses run from 6 AM to 9 PM, with a travel time of 13-15 minutes.

By Train:

  • Use the Cascais Line from Belem Tower to Belem Station, the closest to the Monastery.
  • Operating hours are typically 6:30 AM to 1 AM, with a 15-20 minute travel time.

By Tram:

  • Take tram line 15E from Belem tram station to Algés, the nearest stop to the Monastery.
  • Trams operate from 6 AM to 10 PM, with a travel time of 15-20 minutes.

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Parking Facilities:

  1. Estacionamento – Rua de Belém: 2-minute walk from Jeronimos Monastery.
  2. Estacionamento CCB Emel: 5-minute walk from Jeronimos Monastery.
  3. Parque de estacionamento: 21-minute walk from Jeronimos Monastery.
  4. P1: 14-minute walk from Jeronimos Monastery.

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Entrance Fees for Jeronimos Monastery

  • Church: Admission-Free.
  • Cloister: Unveiling Architectural Splendors and Cultural Treasures.
    • Adults: Embark on this cultural voyage for €10 (US$10.80).
    • Combined with Belém Tower: Explore two wonders for €12 (US$13).
    • Belém Tower + The National Archaeological Museum: Enrich your experience for €16 (US$17.30).
    • Seniors (65+): Enjoy a 50% discount on this historical journey.
    • Youth Card Holders: Benefit from a 50% discount.
    • Children (Under 12 years old): Young minds enter for free.
    • First Sunday of Every Month: Open the doors to all, admission-free.
    • Lisboa Card Holders: Delight in complimentary access.

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Nearby Attractions

  • Archaeology Museum (102 meters): Immerse yourself in history steps away.
  • Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon (449 meters): Explore a tribute to Portugal’s Age of Discovery.
  • National Coach Museum (547 meters): Witness historic transportation marvels.
  • Belém (931 meters): Experience the charm of this historic district.
  • Belém Tower in Lisbon (1.1 kilometers): Uncover the stories within the iconic tower.

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Wrap-Up: Visiting Jeronimos Monastery Lisbon

Your visit to Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon promises an enriching exploration of cultural and historical treasures. Immerse yourself in the spiritual allure and architectural wonders, creating lasting memories in this iconic destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

October – April: 10 AM to 5:30 PM; May – September: 10 AM to 6:30 PM; Closed on Mondays, 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 December.

For adults, it’s €10 (US$10.80). Various discounts apply for seniors and youth card holders, and the first Sunday of every month is free. Lisboa Card holders also enjoy complimentary access.

The Church houses the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões, offering a glimpse into Portugal’s maritime history.

Yes, seniors (65+) and Youth Card holders receive a 50% discount on the Cloister entrance fee. Children under 12 enter for free, and the first Sunday of every month offers free entrance.

Situated in Lisbon’s Belem district, overlooking the Tagus River, Jeronimos Monastery is adjacent to landmarks like Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries. It’s a prime example of Manueline architecture and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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