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Versão Portuguesa

Exterior

Any visit to the Tower of Belém should begin outside the Tower, on the steps facing it. From here one has the best view of the bartizan (turret) in the northwest corner, on the right hand side when facing the Tower, the base of which features a representation of a rhinoceros. It probably depicts the animal that was sent to Lisbon as a gift to Manuel I from the Sultan of Cambay.


Above the turrets are two statues: on the right the Archangel Michael and on the left St. Vincent, the patron saint of Lisbon and the Tower itself.


At the fourth floor level the tower features a balcony with parapets embellished with merlons showing the Cross of the Order of Christ.


Via the gangway one arrives at the drawbridge. This bridge, together with the guillotine gate and the machicolated ceiling of the entrance hall, through which missiles could be dropped on assailants, made access to the Tower more difficult for invaders.

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