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Forming an integral part of the triptych of Lisbon’s former line of defence, the Belém Tower was finally finished in 1520.
Its architect, Francisco de Arruda, had created a masterpiece of Manueline art with Moorish influences, not far from the no less impressive Monastery of the Hieronymites, and also classed in 1983 by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
This elegant stonework keep, which looks out over both the Tagus estuary and the nearby Atlantic, remains one of Portugal’s symbolic monuments, and a testament to the country’s golden age of expansion and discovery.
Also known as Elevador do Carmo, this lift was built at the beginning of the last century by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a disciple of Gustave Eiffel, and remains the only neo-Gothic style monument in the Lisbon district of La Baixa. The streets of both La Baixa and Rossio can be seen from this unique viewpoint.
The difference in height between access to the Rua de Santa Justa and the Rua do Carmo is 45 metres, the latter and the Bairro Alto also being accessible via a long, steep climb up a spiral staircase leading to the viewpoint.
Also visible in the City of the Seven Hills are the Tagus river, the Castelo São Jorge and the ruins of the Convento do Carmo, victim of the historic earthquake of 1755, all from a unique perspective.