Daily Escape

Torre de Belem    

Photography by Alex Holland / Cultura / Aurora Photos

Torre de Belem

Lisbon, Portugal

To keep raiders from the city of Lisbon, Portugal, King Joao II erected the Belem Tower by the River Tagus. A strikingly lovely piece of military fortification, the tower has stood since 1520. Its unique decorations include symbols of the king’s power, such as, interestingly, a rhinoceros. Before becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the tower was utilized as a customs house, lighthouse and even a political prison.

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