Built by Diogo de Boytac and finally by Jerónimo de Ruão, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos was a way of D. Manuel I to honor Infante D. Henrique and his devotion to Nossa Senhora and S. Jerónimo.
The Monastery is a cultural reference that has not escaped artists, writers and travelers during its five centuries of existence, it is also the burial place of kings and even poets.
Today, it is admired by everyone, and not only as a remarkable piece of architecture but as an integral part of the Portuguese culture and identity. It was declared a National Monument in 1907 and in 1983 UNESCO classified it as "Cultural Heritage of all Humanity".
We’ll leave you with the top 5 spots not to miss when visiting the Jerónimos.
1 – Cloister
Used mainly for the isolation of the monastic community, it was a pleasant and serene place that allowed prayer, meditation and recreation of the monks of the Order of S. Jerónimo. The cloister is a lesson in Manueline tracery and lavish ornament.
2 – Refectory
It was built between 1517 and 1518 by Master Leonardo Vaz and his officers. Long and narrow, the
refectory features fabulous vaulting and rope-like Manueline moldings and the panel on the north wall depicts the biblical story of the feeding of the 5000.
3 – South Portal
Built between 1516 and 1518 by João de Castilho, the South Portal is the visual center of the Monastery's façade facing the River Tagus. Despite its sumptuous detail, however, it is merely a side entrance.
4 – Chapter House
Completed only in the 19th century, the Chapter House or Chapter Room is called so as it is the place of regular meetings between monks, which begin with a reading of a chapter from the Book of Rules. It houses the tomb of Alexandre Herculano.
5 – West Portal
While it is smaller and less detailed than the South Portal, from the architectural and theological viewpoints this is, nowadays, the Monastery's main entrance. The portal was a design of the French sculptor Nicolau Chanterène and shows a Manueline decoration.