Lisbon, a city full of history, is located at the mouth of the Tagus River. The city extends over seven hills and this location was very advantageous for the city in case of an attack. Lisbon is full of contrasts: narrow alleys and wide avenues, 19th century modern buildings and houses, which makes it very attractive to tourists.
The National Palace of Belém, built on a hill, is located in the Belém district, where there are many architectural monuments from the time of the great discoveries.
The palace was the official residence of the Portuguese kings and later of the presidents of the Portuguese Republic. When the President of Portugal stops in the palace today, the national flag is raised. The palace overlooks the Plaza Afonso Alburezo Albureca, which is adjacent to the banks of the Tagus River and the Jerónimos Monastery is nearby. Due to the colour of the facade, the Belem Palace is often called the « pink palace ».
The palace was built in 1559 by the Duke of Aveirach. In the 18th century, João V bought the palace and by his order, the interior of the palace was completely modified. The main façade of the palace consists of five buildings. The architecture of the central building combines Mannerism and Baroque style. The two side buildings form a terrace, which is divided by balustrades and accessed by side stairs.
On the first floor, the side stairs are decorated with 12 Azulejos tiles. On the terrace, you can see 14 panels of Azulejos tiles, which represent scenes from the lives of mythological heroes, such as the acts of Heracles and others. At the entrance to the palace is a room with a black and white floor and walls covered with multicoloured Azulejos tiles.