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Monday, July 18, 2011

Torre de Belem, Lisboa, Portugal, Earth

Pictures from our visit to the Torre de Belem in where else, but Belem.  This was originally built in 1515 as one of two towers to guard the harbor from attack.  Torre de Belem was actually an island, but over the years the harbor silted up, and now it is attached to land on the Lisbon side of the Tagus. 

Building codes were laxer in the 16th century and gaping holes to a lower floor were allowed.  No information is available as to perhaps this was a heating duct hole or contained a fireman's pole for easy downward access to the basement.  Modern Portuguese have placed a grate over the hole to preserve the lighting possibilities without completely removing the possibility of a twisted ankle. 

Apparently this is all Manueline style, named for the king at the time.  Very beautiful, even 500 years later. 

The top of the tower.  

And more of the body of the tower, complete with blogchild and blogwife inspecting the torre.  

The view from above.  River in the background.

Pointy topped merlons along a parapet.  

My favorite gargoyle (note to self: idea for a TV show?), a monster playing a violin!  Huzzah!

Clearly recently repaired, these are for winding the portcullis chain around, when you wish to raise or lower the portcullis.  Got to wonder who they called to get this repaired.  After all, Morey's portcullis and moat has been closed for over 450 years this November. 

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