Travel in Portugal, Day 9, Tower of Belem, Lisbon

The Tower of Belem, looking towards the mouth of the Tagus

The Tower of Belem, looking towards the mouth of the Tagus

The Tower of Belem, close to the shoreline

The Tower of Belem, close to the shoreline

Our final day in Portugal and I wanted a ‘taste’ of Lisbon so we did the obviously touristy things! The Tower of Belem was commissioned by King John I in the late 15C to strengthen the defense system at the mouth of the Tagus River and protect protect Lisbon. It was his successor, King Manual I who completed the project, in 1519. The Tower was built on an outcrop of rock close to the shore the earthquake of 1755 affected the course of the river and the Tower is now almost on the shore. It was named The Tower of St Vincent after the Patron Saint of Lisbon and altered several times during the following years.

The Tower of Belem, looking towards the opposite side of the Tagus

The Tower of Belem, looking towards the opposite side of the Tagus

French ships exchanging fire with the Tower during the Battle of the Tagus, 1831 (Wikipedia)

French ships exchanging fire with the Tower during the Battle of the Tagus, 1831 (Wikipedia)

The Virgin of Belem (aka The Virgin of the Grapes)

The Virgin of Belem (aka The Virgin of the Grapes)