Belem is the capital and largest city of the state of Para in the north of Brazil. It is considered the gateway to the River Amazon as it contains a busy port, airport and a bus/coach station. It is the 11th most populous city in Brazil. Founded by the Kingdom of Portugal in the early 17th century, Belem was the first European colony on the Amazon. Book cheap flights to Belem by calling Travel Center UK today! Our team of experienced travel experts is equipped to give you the best deals on cheap flights to Belem. Belem has witnessed a boom in skyscrapers of late as a result of the rapid growth of the economy of the area. The city also has its fair share of historical architecture dating back to colonial times. Belem has also become one of the most popular safari destinations in the Amazon River delta. The city of Belem is served by the Val de Cães International Airport and we have teamed up with world-class airlines to ensure that you travel in safety and comfort to this exciting destination in Brazil. Contact us today and ask us about cheap flights to Belem, and whether you are on business or on holiday to Belem, we have flights that match your needs. Book cheap flights to Belem over the phone and get personalised service. You will also get specialised services such as finding the cheapest rates owning to price fluctuations and advice on the best time for booking.
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Among the most celebrated historic monuments in Portugal, the Jerónimos monastery is also one of the jewels in Lisbon's sightseeing crown. Commissioned by King Manuel I in 1501 and timed to coincide with the return of Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) after his momentous voyage to India, the church and adjacent monastery are considered the greatest examples of Manueline architecture in the country.
Jutting out of the water off the Belem riverfront, the quirky-looking Belém Tower is one of the most recognized of all Lisbon's tourist attractions and has become a symbol of the city. Completed in 1521, it originally functioned as a fortress to defend the mouth of the River Tagus and would have sat in the middle of the estuary (time and tide has shifted the river's course).
On a hill overlooking Belém, the construction of the National Palace of Ajuda was ordered by the Portuguese royal family in 1802, but was incomplete when the they were forced into exile in Brazil in 1807 during the invasion of Napoleon's troops. The neglected building only became a permanent royal residence when Luís I became king in 1861 and married an Italian princess, Maria Pia di Savoia (Queen Maria II).
One of the most appetizing things to see and do in Belém is to indulge in a plate of Pasteis de Belém - flaky pastries crammed with custard cream and, if you want, lightly dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. The tarts are made from a secret recipe that originated in the kitchens of the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos at the beginning of the 19th century, and while much imitated across Portugal, it's the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém pastelaria that bakes the most authentic. Indeed, only a select number of master confectioners are privy to the exact ingredients and they are sworn to secrecy.
The decommissioned Central Tejo electricity generating station that houses the Electricity Museum is itself a remarkable example of industrial architecture. Dating from 1891, the impressive red brick structure lies on the riverbank, and its cathedral-like dimensions dominate the vicinity. The interactive exhibition has been imaginatively integrated into the facility's low-pressure boilers room and steam engine rooms and offers visitors a fascinating insight into the day-to-day workings of this historic plant. Every piece of machinery is original and has been fully restored, and a tour takes you past the control consoles and gigantic furnaces that fired the coal and continues through the lower level. Here, coal ashes were collected by men working in 40-degree heat.
Built to resemble the shape of a caravel, the massive, angular Monument to the Discoveries is a prominent feature of the Belem waterfront. Designed by architect Cottinelli Telmo and the sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida, the 52 meter-high monolith was inaugurated in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. It honors Henry in stone, seen standing at the prow, along with other historical figures that took part in the development of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.
The Coach Museum is one of Lisbon's most popular sightseeing attractions. The collection of carriages and saddlery is the finest in the world and also includes fine examples of litters, sedan chairs, and cabriolets. Presently housed in the east wing of the Palacio de Belém, a former riding school built by Italian architect Giacomo Azzolini in 1726, the museum was the idea of Queen Amélia and opened in 1905.
One of Lisbon's premier cultural centers, the CCB offers a world-class program of performing arts, music, and photography. It also houses the renowned Museu Coleção Berardo - Portugal's principal museum of modern and contemporary art. Dance and theater err towards the experimental with national and international artists invited to perform. Music fans are treated to an eclectic agenda. Classical music concerts are held here, and jazz gets a regular airing. The CCB is also a stage for World Music and Portugal's own fado. Arts festivals are held throughout the year along with summer schools and workshops. Visitors can browse the center's website for program and ticketing information.
Housed in the west wing of the Jerónimos monastery, the Maritime Museum perfectly evokes Portugal's proud seafaring heritage and, in particular, provides an illuminating voyage through the pioneering Age of Discovery. The museum is actually where a chapel built by Henry the Navigator once stood. Here, mariners took mass before setting sail to chart unknown waters and explore new lands. Fittingly, the Discoveries Hall displays one of the most important exhibits in the entire collection, a wooden figure representing the Archangel Raphael that accompanied Vasco da Gama on his expedition to India in 1498.
Have you ever wondered what happens to all those gifts presented to heads of state when they're visiting other countries? In Portugal, they end up in this unusual museum, which houses a fascinating hoard of rare and valuable artifacts given to the country's presidents by notable national and international personalities. The museum chronicles the history of the Portuguese republic since its declaration in 1910 through the presidents' official portraits (including a very offbeat likeness of Mário Soares (president from 1983-96) by celebrated artist Júlio Pomar, ceremonial and national flags, photographs, and documents.