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Designed in the 16th century by Francisco Arruda, the Belém Tower is a tower facing the mouth of the Tagus river. At the time of its construction, the tower was on an island 200 metres from the banks of the Tagus river and guided ships into Lisbon. With the passage of time and the retreat of the river, the tower ended up on the right bank of the Tagus, where today the Avenida Brasília runs.
The exterior decoration shows Arab and Venetian influences on the balconies. Inside, the decor is rather more austere. The name Belém (Bethlehem) comes from a chapel dedicated to St. Mary of Bethlehem which later became the Jerónimos Monastery.
It is well worth a visit to Belém Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to enjoy the stunning view over the Tagus and towards the city of Lisbon.