The Belem area is renowned for the monuments dedicated to the era of geographical discoveries. Some of the most important monuments are the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries). The Jerónimos Monastery is a monastery built in the 16th century as an homage to Vasco da Gama's successful return from India. The money to build the monastery came from the 5% tax on spices brought from the oriental colonies. The Belem Tower was also built in the 16th century with the purpose to protect Lisbon's harbor, today it symbolizes the voyages that made Portugal a Great Power. The Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) was built initially for the Portuguese World Fair that took place in 1940 and was rebuilt in 1960 as a tribute to Henry the Navigator.

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