Belem Landmarks and Monuments

(Belem, Pará, Brazil)

Many historians will agree that the historical colonial architecture of Belem rather reflects the 17th-century landmarks in Lisbon, Portugal. Similarities can often be observed in appearance and character, although a number of the 19th-century landmarks of Belem have undeniable French influences.

Founded in 1616, some 400 years ago, Belem is a city with much charm, beginning its life around the streets of what is now known today as the 'Old City' (Cidade Velha). A cluster of old and important landmarks remain standing in the Cidade Velha area, such as the Forte do Castelo, which once successfully prevented colonization attempts by the British, the Dutch and the French. To soak up the history of the city, simply take a stroll along the shoreline, beginning at the docks and passing an array of old churches along the route.

Casa das Onze Janelas (House of Eleven Windows)

Address: Praca Frei Brandao, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3219 1165
The Casa das Onze Janelas, or House of Eleven Windows, is a prominent building standing on the Praca Frei Brandao and was formerly the home of a wealthy sugar baron, before being converted to a hospital for the Brazilian military. The onsite art gallery is a popular draw card and contains a selection of modern pieces, together with some photography exhibits, while the restaurant named the 'Boteco das Onze' is amongst the city's finest. There is also a cafe at the back of the Casa das Onze Janelas, where you can enjoy refreshments whilst overlooking the mouth of the Amazon River.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts for students and children, free on Tuesdays

Forte do Presépio / Forte do Castelo

Address: Praca Frei Brandao, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Without question one of the most important landmarks that the city has to offer, the Forte do Presépio was originally built in 1616, when Belem was officially founded, being constructed to defend the city against possible attacks by the Dutch and French. Standing just a short distance to the south-west of the bustling Ver-o-Peso Market and at the spot where the River Guamá joins the Guajará Bay, this fortress was later reconstructed and remodelled, with its stone walls dating from the middle of the 19th century.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, free on Tuesdays

Palacio Antonio Lemos

Address: Praca Dom Pedro II, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3283 4687
One of the many landmarks dotted around the Praca Dom Pedro II, the Palacio Antonio Lemos is where you will find the Museu de Arte de Belem - MABE, which enjoys high visitors number and houses an impressive collection of Brazilian paintings from the 20th century, such as the famous oil painting entitled 'Seringal' by renowned Rio artist Candido Portunari. The palace itself was once used as the city hall, between the years of 1860 and 1883, and was built during the early part of the affluent 'rubber-boom' period.
Open hours: Tuesday - 09:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 13:00
Admission: free

Palacio Lauro Sodré

Address: Praca Dom Pedro II, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3241 2215
This imposing building is home to a number of attractions, including the ever-popular Museu do Estado do Pará (Pará State Museum), which houses some interesting artefacts relating to the founding of the city. The palace has been used for several different purposes over the years and in the past became the residence for both royal representatives from Portugal and governors for the state of Pará.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 13:00 to 18:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 13:00
Admission: free

Catedral da Sé (Belem Cathedral)

Address: Praca Frei Brandao, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
A colonial landmark with strong neoclassical and baroque influences, the Catedral da Sé stands on the Praca Frei Brandao, next to the Rua Padre Champagnat and close to the waterfront. Construction began in 1748 and this cathedral was completed just under 25 years later, in 1771. Particularly notable are the twin towers, the bright white facade and the recently renovated interior. Within walking distance are both the Praca Dom Pedro II and the Praca do Relógio.
Open hours: daily - 07:00 to 12:00, 14:00 to 17:30
Admission: charge

Basilica Santuario de Nazaré

Address: Praca Justo Chermont, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Fronting the Praca Justo Chermont, a green square located next to the Avenida Governador Magalhaes Barata, the Basilica Santuario de Nazaré is worth searching out, not just for its attractive architecture, but for its surprisingly elaborate and ornate interior. Step inside and you will be transported to a world of marble columns, coloured stained-glass windows and detailed wood carvings. Each year in October, the Basilica Santuario de Nazaré becomes central to Belem's spectacular annual Cirio de Nazaré festival, which has become the largest religious celebration in the whole of Brazil.
Open hours: daily - 05:30 to 20:00
Admission: free

Parque da Residencia (Park's Residence)

Address: Avenida Governador Magalhaes Barata, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Located on the Avenida Governador Magalhaes Barata, the Parque da Residencia has served as the official residence of the state governor since 1934, although governors have actually used this building from 1913 onwards. Currently, the Residence operates as the headquarters for Pará's Secretariat of Culture (SECULT). Many attractions are close by and include the Passagem das Icamiabas, an amphitheatre with regular open-air performances, the Coreto Pavilhao Frederico Rhossard (Bandstand Pavilion), and a host of wild parakeets.
Open hours: hours vary
Admission: charge