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Versão Portuguesa


Belém Cultural Centre

Construction work began on Belém Cultural Centre (CCB) in September 1988 and was concluded in 1993. Its creation originated in the need for an architectural facility that could be a suitable home for the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union in 1992 and would then remain as a hub for cultural and recreational activities. The final design for the Centre was decided in early 1988.

The somewhat controversial location was based on the fact that it too marked the point of departure for Portugal's maritime discoveries, alongside the Tower of Belém and the Monument to the Discoveries. The symbolism of this location was confirmed by the choice of Belém as the site of the Exhibition of the Portuguese World in 1940. The CCB now occupies the same site that was home to "The Portuguese in the World" and "Portuguese Villages" pavilions.

After an international competition that attracted fifty-seven design proposals, the design proposed by the Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado and the group headed by the Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti was chosen. Of the five modules the original design presented only three were built: the Congress Centre, the Theatre/Auditorium Centre and the Exhibition Centre.The CCB opened as an arts and conference centre in 1993, its programming favouring music, theatre and photography.

On weekends the CCB attracts great numbers of visitors who, in addition to the normal cultural programmes, can enjoy performances by street artists as well as other forms of public art and recreation.

Since June 2007 the Centre is also home to the Museu Colecção Berardo.