Santa Maria de Belém

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215 travelers at this place

  • Apr5

    Belem, Lisbon

    April 5, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Bought a 24 hour public transport ticket to discover a further part of the city (but also we just cannot walk anymore). Belem tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and great view to the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge with small showers all day. We have tried the 'best pastel de nata in the world' (the queue was long but it was worth it) and later in the evening we had the best sandwich in our lives, bifana (warm pork meat in soak bread, yumi). Bairro Alto is the party district on the top of a hill (of course) with many great cheap pubs. We drunk, danced and made friends with some Bangladeshian guys who told us that we are made for each other, great last night in Lisbon!Read more

  • Mar28

    Belém's Old Carriage Museum

    March 28, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    We have visited many museums in Portugal but we were blown away by this one!

    Situated beside the Tagus River, at the point where it meets the Atlantic, Belém is the place from which the caravels sailed on their ‘voyage of discovery’. Nowadays, it is an area just outside of Lisbon where people can spend time relaxing in the parks or visiting historical monuments and modern museums. The area is full of cafes as well as seafood restaurants. We were intrigued by the description of the place so we decided to go there.

    We took Rick Steves’ advice once again and took the 15E tram from the Mundial Hotel to Belém.

    Our first stop was at the National Coach Museum which is housed in two buildings. Originally, it was only in the ornate royal riding arena, but the collection is so big that a new modern concrete complex was built across the street. We visited both places.

    The royal riding arena only houses eight carriages, a selection of portraits and a wing displaying 19th-century firefight equipment. But what a building it is! The main riding area is ornately painted and it is a fascinating building.

    The most important and oldest exhibit is the coach used by King Felipe II of Portugal as he travelled from Spain to Portugal in 1619. Another amazing exhibit is the ceremonial Coach of the Oceans, a carriage belonging to Pope Clement XI, which was given King John V in 1715, and is lavishly decorated in gold.

    The coach collection was originally created by Queen Amélia in 1905 and housed in the royal riding arena. The arena was 50m long and 17m wide, and was used for training horses as well as for horse riding exhibitions and games. It used to have balconies so that the Portuguese royal family could watch the events from luxurious surroundings.

    The queen included all of the carriages belonging to the Portuguese royal family in the museum’s collection. After the demise of the royal family the Portuguese government maintained the coach museum.

    Just a few fun facts ... the Portuguese royalty played a fun riding game with a rotating figure of a Moor with a shield and a whip. The game was called “ Charging the Estafermo” in which the rider tried to strike the shield with a lance, causing the figure to rotate and then the rider had to quickly escape without being hit by the whip. See our last photograph. The museum had one of the figures on display.

    Toilets on coaches? One of the seats had a seat that lifted and there was a potty underneath!
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  • Mar28

    Belem's New Carriage Museum

    March 28, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    The new building houses around 40 royal vehicles from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. There were coaches, berlins, sedan chairs, children’s coaches and carriages – all of which are decorated in a rich and over the top style. Pretty jaw dropping. The time and work that went into making these vehicles!

    There was also a display of miniatures of the carriages. Hi I that it would have been a cool project to make one of these.

    Upstairs, we saw the fun tongue in cheek art exhibit showing modern interpretations of all the Kings and Queens of Portugal. The artist also included their nicknames and how they were related. Very clever. We wish that we could remember his name as we loved his artworks. (Gomes? Torres?)

    Anyways, as mentioned, we were blown away by the splendour and workmanship of the coaches and were happy that we made the effort to visit this amazing museum.
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  • Mar28

    Belém's Incredible Monastery & Natas

    March 28, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Belém isn’t just known for the National Coach Museum. The 16th-century Tower of Belém and the sail-shaped Discoveries Monument are featured on almost every postcard. Also there is the immense Gothic Jerónimos Monastery, and the very popular Pastéis de Belém patisserie, famed for its custard tarts. We only have so much energy and there is just so much to see and do!

    We wandered over to the Jerónimos Monastery after seeing the coach museum and were really impressed by its grand size (100m long) and the carvings on the limestone walls. King Manuel (1495) erected it as a thank you for the discoveries made by early Portuguese explorers. He built the church near the site where a small chapel stood where sailors spent their night before their frightening voyages, praying.

    Portugal was a wealthy country in those days and and no expense was barred from creating this spectacular monastery. You have to see it to believe it.

    The monastery is the final resting ground of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to sail to India. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was declared a National Monument in 1907.

    Now the time came to have a coffee and a great and we were in the right place!

    Everyone who visits Portugal learns about and eats the famous pasteis de nata, but to sink your teeth into the real deal, made using the original 187-year-old recipe, you need to stop in at a cafe called Pasteis de Belém. And guess what? It is practically next door to the monastery.

    The first owners of this well-known pastry shop (which was a sugar refinery at that time) purchased the recipe in the 1830s from the monks of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), who first sold the pastries as a way to raise money. Flaky on the outside and creamy on the inside, they are delicious pastries, and it didn’t take long for the Pasteis de Belém to become one of the most popular pastry shops in Lisbon. The lineups tell it all.

    We were able to see where they make the 20,000 or so tarts a day and what a sight. Donna, Karen and Rob, and members of our family would be drooling. We just sat down at a table, sprinkled the hot tarts with cinnamon and powdered sugar and ate them with a cafe com leite (coffee with milk). Yum.

    Now we had to face our 40 minute tram ride home with a trolley full of students and tourists - it was like being in a can of Portuguese sardines! Wow!
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  • Day29

    Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

    October 2, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    With our Lisboa Card, we didn’t have to wait very long to get in. It is a very impressive monument, and took over 100 years to build. It is a very impressive site, and very elaborately decorated.

    The monastery was designed in a manner that later became known as “Manueline”, a richly ornate architectural style with complex sculptural themes incorporating maritime elements and objects discovered during naval expeditions, carved in limestone. The building embodies the golden age of Portuguese discoveries, and was funded using the profits from the spices Vasco da Gama brought back from India. Vasco da Gama’s tomb lays within the monastery.

    Manuel I selected the religious order of Hieronymite monks to occupy the monastery, whose role it was to pray for the King's eternal soul, and to provide spiritual assistance to navigators and sailors who departed from the port of Restelo to discover lands around the world. This the monks did for over four centuries until 1833, when the religious orders were dissolved and the monastery was abandoned.

    The monastery withstood the 1755 Lisbon earthquake with very little damage. It stood vacant for sometime during the 1800’s and restoration work began in the 1860’s.
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  • Day29

    Museu Colecção Berardo

    October 2, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We grabbed a quick coffee and snack before taking on this contemporary art museum, which is part of the Centro Cultural De Belém. The museum displays millionaire José Bernardo’s collection of abstract, surrealist and pop art. The collection includes many well known artists, such as Hockney, Lichtenstein, Warhol and Pollack.Read more

  • Day30

    Banksy - Genius or Vandal?

    October 3, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    The Banksy exhibition was great. It was informative, thought provoking, entertaining and interactive. One of the best art exhibits I have been to of late. They had a great commentary and used a range of media to present his work. So glad we got to see it.Read more

  • Day4

    Trip nach Belém & Tag der Entscheidung

    March 4, 2020 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Zuallerallererst (wollte ich nur verwenden, weil es im Duden steht) fahren wir heute nach Belém, das ein wenig außerhalb der Innenstadt von Lissabon direkt am Wasser liegt. Hier gibt es vor allem ein altes und imposantes Kloster, ein Monument zu Ehren der Kolonialgeschichte Portugals (nochmal kurz an gestern zurückdenken) und die Pastéis de Belém zu entdecken.

    Ich übertreibe nicht, wenn ich sage, dass der letzte Punkt bei quasi jedem Touristen auf dem Plan steht. Auch non-Foodies kommen aufgrund der Origin-Geschichte der Pastéis in besagtem Kloster hier her und wollen diese angeblich nach jahrhundertealtem Originalrezept zubereiteten Törtchen probieren. Für uns ist das natürlich besonders wichtig ;) und wir werden nicht enttäuscht. Am heutigen, letzten Tag steht auch die Entscheidung zu den besten Pastéis de Nata aus unserer bisherigen Erfahrung aus, aber dazu später mehr.

    Wir vertreiben uns ein wenig Zeit in Belém rund um die Sehenswürdigkeiten und fahren anschließend in die Stadt zurück. Nach einer kleinen Ruhepause gibt es berühmt-berüchtigtes BBQ-Hähnchen (oder in meinem Fall Salat und Chips :D) bevor wir den Abend nach einem weitläufigen Spaziergang entlang der Avenida da Liberdade im bekannten Bar-Viertel Bairro Alto bei Live-Musik und Getränken ausklingen lassen. Sehr spaßig, können wir auch nur empfehlen.

    Jetzt zu dem wichtigsten Teil (für mich). Unsere Einschätzung der Pastéis de Nata. nach Tiers (Ränken?), da eine exakte Abstufung aufgrund des zeitlichen Abstands dazwischen etwas schwierig war. Trotzdem ist mir der erste Eindruck der hervorragenden, frischen Pastéis in der Manteigaria (Rua do Loreto) am besten in Erinnerung geblieben. Etwas überraschend fand ich persönlich, dass einige die großen bekannten Namen auch tatsächlich zu den Besten gehörten, obwohl ich mir in der Online-Recherche viel Mühe gegeben habe auch kleinere Konditoreien zu finden und wir einfach mal spontan welche probiert haben.

    So, without further ado:
    Tier 1 (wortwörtlich die Crème de la Crème): Manteigaria, Fábrica de Nata, Pastéis de Belém
    Tier 2 (gut - mittel, jetzt auch grob in geschmacklich absteigender Reihenfolge): Alcôa (könnte es frisch in Tier 1 schaffen), Pastelaria Aloma, Pastelaria Batalha, Pastelaria Versailles (Flughafen), Pastelaria Batalha (vegane Variante)
    Tier 3: Starbucks... Ich bin ja durchaus mal ein Anhänger des Venti Java Chocolate Chip Frappucino mit Sojamilch ohne Sahne am besten zubereitet bei Vollmond, aber die Pastéis kann man leider nicht gutheißen. Man kann sie essen, aber es ist ein himmelweiter Unterschied zu den geradezu göttlichen Eiertörtchen ganz oben auf der Liste. ;)

    Mehr Pastéis de Nata haben leider weder die Zeit, noch mein Körper hergegeben, aber falls ihr das hier lest und weitere sehr gute Kandidaten habt, schreibt gerne mal einen Kommentar. :)
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  • Day5

    Entlang des Rio Tejo

    October 4, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Nachdem wir gut ausgeschlafen und gefrühstückt hatten, ging es los auf unsere letzte Sightseeingtour. Für heute hatten wir zwar nicht so viele Ziele, diese lagen dafür umso weiter auseinander. Unsere ersten Ziele waren das Padrão dos Descobrimentos und der Torre de Belém. Hierfür mussten wir von unserer Wohnung ca. 6 Kilometer entlang des Rio Tejo laufen. Zum Glück war es heute Vormittags und mittags bewölkt und somit nicht so unerträglich heiß. Der Weg war gut zu bewältigen und ging, da es eben an der Uferprommenade nicht andauernd bergauf und bergab ging. Vor allem unter der Ponte durchzugehen und in der Folge davon Fotos von der anderen Seite zu machen, war eine spannende Sache.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Santa Maria de Belém, Santa Maria de Belem