Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

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Jeronimos Monastery and Belém Tower in Lisbon
UNESCO world heritage UNESCO World Heritage Emblem

The Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery.png
National territory: PortugalPortugal Portugal
Type: Culture
Criteria : iii, vi
Surface: 2.66 ha
Reference No .: 263
UNESCO region : Europe and North America
History of enrollment
Enrollment: 1983  (session 7)
View of the facade of the monastery
South portal of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Cloister and courtyard of the monastery

The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos ? / i (also Mosteiro de Belém ; German Hieronymitenkloster , erroneously colloquial also Hieronymus Monastery ) is a building in Lisbon ( Portugal ), in the Belém district . The associated church of Santa Maria de Belém is Maria consecrated. Audio file / audio sample

The Mosteiro de Belém is one of the most important Manueline buildings ( Manuel I , 1495–1521), a Portuguese variant of the late Gothic , which also contains some elements of the Renaissance . Among other things, it houses the sarcophagi of Fernando Pessoa , Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões and various Portuguese kings.

The extensive park ( Praça do Império ) in front of the 300 meter long building allows the richly decorated limestone facade to come into its own. The naval museum and the archaeological museum are located in the side wings .


In January 1502, King Manuel I laid the foundation stone for the monastery, which became a monument of national greatness and, together with the Batalha monastery and the Christ Church in Tomar, is one of the highlights of Portuguese architecture. The construction lasted over seven decades and thus outlasted Portugal's heyday. Five architects were responsible: two Portuguese, two French and one Spanish. Nevertheless, the entire building appears uniform, shaped by a common will to design and the enthusiasm of the time of discovery. The complex was planned to be much larger, the hall church, the two-story cloister with refectory, chapter house and sacristy as well as the 193 m long west wing, which was rebuilt several times, were realized. During the reign of King John III. the monastery was expanded to include the choir.

Until 1834 the monastery housed the Hieronymites , the order of St. Jerome , who also gave the monastery its name. The building survived the earthquake of 1755 without major damage.

In 1983 the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO .

On December 13, 2007, the heads of state and government of the EU states signed the Treaty of Lisbon to reorganize the European Union.


South portal of the monastery church

The representative south portal, created by João de Castilho, extends beyond the cornice of the monastery church. It is 32 m high and 12 m wide. The figure of Henry the Navigator stands between the two entrance doors, and above the arch of the portal we see the crowned Mary with the child. At the very top, in front of the eaves, the Archangel Gabriel watches. 24 almost life-size figures, apostles, saints and bishops stand under canopies. Late Gothic pinnacles flank Renaissance round arches, surrounded by a network of forms made of branches, foliage and decorative flowers.

Interior of the monastery church

You enter the church through the west portal, which is narrowed down by the west wing that was added later and hardly comes into its own. With the three-aisled hall church, the architect João de Castilho created one of the most beautiful and unusual interiors in Portugal. The ribs open out from six slender pillars like palm fronds to support the net vault at a height of 25 m. Holding the vault securely with such slim components is also a structural masterpiece, the hall is 90 m long and 27 m wide. The four stronger crossing pillars ensure that the 29 x 19 m transept can do without any additional supports. Due to their rich design, the columns appear almost weightless and without any supporting function. As delicate as this construction may appear, it has not only survived for almost 500 years, but also the severe earthquake of 1755, which only a few kilometers away devastated entire districts.

Under the gallery, on the north side, is the Vasco da Gamas sarcophagus, which is in the neo-Romanueline style. He died on December 24, 1524 as Viceroy of India and was first buried there and then reburied several times. It was not until 1880 that his remains were buried in this honorary grave.


The cloister on the north side of the monastery is also a jewel of Portuguese architecture. The decor of the 26 vaulted fields, which encompass a 55 m square, combines elements from the West, the Orient and the Far East. Emblems, figures, portraits and stylized plants and animals were carved out of the yellowish sand-lime brick. In between, the cross of the Christ Knights, the spherical sphere and the royal coat of arms symbolize the religious and secular claim to power of the Portuguese royal family under Manuel I. Until the conversion of the monastery into an orphanage in 1834, there was a water basin in the middle with the Lion fountain, which today stands in the northwest corner.


The former refectory is spanned by a flat net vault, keystones and vaulted walls sit on a surrounding stone rope. The tile decorations on the walls date from the 18th century.

Royal tombs

The following members of the Portuguese royal family are buried in the monastery:

  1. Infant Antonio (September 9, 1516– September 9, 1516) - (son of King Emanuel I )
  2. Mary of Aragon , Queen of Portugal (June 29, 1482 - March 7, 1517) - (second wife of King Emanuel I )
  3. Infant Carlos (February 18, 1520– April 15, 1521) - (son of King Emanuel I )
  4. Manuel I, King of Portugal (May 31, 1469– December 13, 1521)
  5. Infant Afonso (February 24, 1526–1526) - (son of King John III )
  6. Infanta Isabel (April 28, 1520–1530) - (daughter of King John III )
  7. Infanta Beatriz (February 15, 1530–1530) - (daughter of King John III )
  8. Infant Manuel (November 1, 1531– April 14, 1537) - (son of King John III )
  9. Infant Diniz (April 26, 1535– January 1, 1539) - (son of King John III )
  10. Infant Felipe (May 25, 1533– April 29, 1539) - (son of King John III )
  11. Infant Antonio (March 9, 1539– January 20, 1540) - (son of King John III )
  12. Infant João (June 3, 1537– January 2, 1554) - (son of King John III )
  13. Infant Luís, Duke of Beja (March 3, 1506– November 27, 1555) - (son of King Emanuel I )
  14. John III, King of Portugal (June 6, 1502– June 11, 1557)
  15. Joan of Spain (June 24, 1535– September 7, 1573) - (Wife of Infante João )
  16. Catherine of Castile , Queen of Portugal (January 14, 1507– February 12, 1578) - (second wife of King John III )
  17. Sebastian, King of Portugal (January 20, 1554– August 4, 1578)
  18. Henry I, King of Portugal (January 31, 1512– January 31, 1580)
  19. Infanta Joana (September 18, 1636– November 17, 1653) - (daughter of King John IV. )
  20. Alfonso VI, King of Portugal (August 21, 1643– September 12, 1683)
  21. Infanta Catarina Henriqueta, Queen of Scotland (25 November 1638–31 December 1705) - (daughter of King John IV )

Picture gallery

See also

Web links

Commons : Mosteiro dos Jerónimos  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Burmeister, Hans-Peter .: Portugal: Roman villas, Manueline monasteries and modern museums between Lisbon and Porto, Minho and Algarve . In: DuMont art travel guide . DuMont-Buchverlag, Cologne 2008, ISBN 3-7701-4416-3 .
  2. accessed on 29 June 2009

Coordinates: 38 ° 41'52.2 "  N , 9 ° 12'25.9"  W.