The history of the Belem Palace, otherwise known as the Belem National Palace or the National Palace of Belem, goes back to the 16th century, when King Manuel I purchased the land which is now the place where the palace is located. The building erected by his order was subsequently bought (more precisely in 1726) by King Joao V from the previous owner, Joao da Silva Telo, third Count of Aveiros, together with the surrounding land. The building was reconstructed and, despite the fact the date of the completion of the construction works is not known, what is certain is by 1754 the building had already become a kingly residence.

Thus, since its construction until the present day, the Belem Palace has been, successively, the seat and the residence of the kings and of the presidents of Portugal (it has been serving the presidency of Portugal since 1910). Architecturally speaking, the castle has been discreetly altered in time in terms of structure and decorations, such that, at present, visitors can admire highlights like the 14 veranda tile panels which depict scenes from the Greek mythology, or the tile panels in the main pavilion, panels designed in the 19th century. The palace gardens are also of note, since they are pegged out by carefully trimmed hedges, statues and ponds.

There’s also a museum within the precincts of the palace, that is, the Presidency Museum (Museu da Presidencia da Republica), the mission of which is to recount the history of the Portuguese Republic and of the institution of presidency, with an emphasis on the importance of this institution since the foundation of the republic. The museum can be visited daily (except Mondays), whereas the palace proper can only be entered by visitors on Saturdays. Visits to the Belem Palace can easily be complemented by visits to the Jeronimos Monastery and by long explorations of the so-called Praca Afonso de Albuquerque and of the Belem district.

Belem Palace (Palacio de Belem)
Praca Afonso de Albuquerque, Lisbon, Portugal
00351 213 614660
00351 213 614764
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