The Jerónimos Monastery is generally considered to be the "jewel in the crown" of Manueline architecture, incorporating both late Gothic and Renaissance elements and blending regal, Christian and naturalist symbols in its design details to make it a unique and outstanding work. A request sent by D.Manuel to the Holy See for authorisation to build a large monastery on the banks of the Tagus just outside Lisbon dates from 1496.
The construction work commenced in 1501 and was completed roughly one century later. The building has a façade that extends for more than three hundred metres, following a principle of horizontality that gives it a harmonious and relaxing physiognomy.
It was built in limestone extracted in the nearby sites.
D. Manuel chose the Order of St. Jerome, or Hieronymites, to occupy the Monastery.
Their role, amongst other things, was to pray for the soul of the monarch and provide spiritual assistance to the seafarers and navigators who departed from the Restelo shorefront to discover new worlds.