Proposal for the Conservation of the Tower of Belém

Describes the outcome of a week-long session planning the preservation of the Tower of Belém. The Tower of Belém was the last of three towers commissioned by King João II of Portugal (1455-1495) to defend the port of Lisbon, and was constructed in 1514-1519. The Tower is one of the most representative examples of the Manueline, or Portuguese Late Gothic style, which took its inspiration from the discoveries of the Portuguese explorers, and has been inscribed in the World Heritage List. The report evaluates the condition of the site, which faced the issues of poor water drainage and stone deterioration, and describes interior alterations. Recommendations are made for stone conservation, the introduction of new architectural elements, the upgrading of building systems, and the treatment of the surrounding landscape. A planning and financing strategy is also outlined. The report was intended to serve as a prototype for the methodology of preserving other Portuguese monuments.

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