8 Avenida da Índia
Photo courtesy of Visit Lisboa
Jerónimos MonasteryFew buildings in Lisbon command as much attention as this 16th-century masterpiece, which stretches across the Belém landscape like an endless exclamation point to Portugal’s Age of Discovery greatness. The UNESCO-listed monastery is the country’s most fantastic example of Manueline architecture, a transitional style that combines Renaissance and Gothic elements. On every window and door, you’ll also find intricate stone carvings of ropes and knots, which hint at Portugal’s maritime history. The monastery’s stonework, 180-foot-by-180-foot cloister, and sheer scale indicate the immense wealth once enjoyed by the country—at the time it was built, its construction was funded by a 5 percent tax on goods imported from Portugal’s African and Asian colonies.