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Belem National Palace

Belem National Palace Belem National Palace

Palácio de Belém

Now the official residence of the president of Portugal the palace was built in the 16th by Manuel of Portugal to overlook the nearby Jerónimos Monastery

The former royal Palace of Belém is now the official residence of the Portuguese president.  The faded pink palace is guarded by sentries in traditional uniform and is generally not open to the public, although there is a small museum (Museu da Presidência da Republica) dedicated to the history of the Portuguese republic and its presidents attached. 

The palace is situated on a small hill near the centre of the Belem district and is made up of an L-shaped structure with 5 main buildings and formal gardens. 

The original structure was built in the 16th century and in 1723 King Joao V bought the palace as a royal retreat.  Unlike many of Lisbon’s buildings, the palace was largely undamaged by the 1755 earthquake, after which the resident royals, fearing further quakes were said to have camped out in tents in the gardens.  The palace was also used as a field hospital during the aftermath of the earthquake.

After the end of the monarchy, the palace became the official presidential residence in 1912, although since that date most of the presidents have chosen to live in their own homes and keep the palace for official work and functions.  A green flag displaying the Portuguese national arms indicates when the president is in situ.

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Belem

Belem travel guide »

Beautiful, culturally resplendent and immensely significant in Portuguese history, Belém is one of the jewels in Lisbon’s crown. In terms of places to visit and sights to see, this elegant area of the city...

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