Jeronimos Monastery is a former monastery of the Order of St Jerome, and is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in the city. Constructed in the late 15th century, this monastery replaced the church formerly existing in the same place which was dedicated to Santa Maria de Belem. It was here where the monks of the military religious Order of Christ assisted the seafarers in transit.
The monastery was continuously used as a religious site, through the middle ages and centuries of monarchies, up to the year 1833 when it was secularised by state decree and its title was transferred to the Pious Royal House of Lisbon. By this time, many of the artworks and treasures were either transferred to the crown or lost, and because it was vacant most of the time its condition began to deteriorate. Several restorations and renovations have taken place since then. The monastery is also home to the tombs of famous Portuguese explorers such as Vasco da Gama and Luis de Camoes, as well as the poet Joao de Deus.
Today, Jeronimos Monastery is a symbol of the Portuguese Age of Discovery and hosts several of the country’s important exhibitions and meetings, such as the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2007 which laid down the basis of reform for the European Union.