Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) is one of the most impressive examples of wealth and power that Portugal had during the Age of Discovery. It is one of the best examples of European Gothic architecture in the whole of Portugal.
Located in Lisbon, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos was home of the monks from the Order of Saint Jerome. Their spiritual purpose was to pray for the soul of the King and give guidance to sailors. It was the place that Vasco De Gama prayed before he set sail on his voyage to India, becoming the first European to visit the country.
The connection with the sea and exploring is evident throughout the building and the architecture is unlike anything that you would find elsewhere. It has become known as Manueline and is instantly recognizable by the way that is glorifies the discoveries of the age. The sculptural details are very elaborate and there are examples of maritime motifs throughout the buildings.
One of the best examples of the architecture in Jerónimos Monastery is in the cloisters. Each column is carved differently and everyone is connected to the theme of the sea. Motifs depicting coral and sea monsters show how exciting people found sea exploration at the time the Monastery was built.
The gardens are another must see part of the Monastery. The hedges are cut into municipal coats of arms and there is also a fountain that is decorated with these coats of arms. If you are lucky enough to visit the Monastery for a special event then you will probably see the fountain lit up and this really is a magnificent site.