Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Philatelic Photograph: Torre de Belém - Lisbon, Portugal

Torre de Belém

N 38° 41.502 W 009° 12.945

Short Description: 

The Torre de Belém is a fortified tower located at the north side of the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal. It was designated a a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery, in 1983.

Long Description:

The Torre de Belém was designed in the Gothic style by King John II as a defensive structure and as a gateway to Lisbon on the Tagus River. In 1515 construction began under the direction of architects: Francisco de Arruda, Francisco de Holanda, António Viana Barreto, and António de Azevedo e Cunha. The Torre de Belém was completed in 1519. The limestone Torre de Belém has two parts, a four story tower and a bastion on the south side of the tower.

The Torre de Belém began being used as a state prison in 1580 when it was captured by the Spanish forces of the Duke of Alba. It continued to be uses as a prison for condemned people of high social status until 1830.

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