Notes on the Geography of Portugal: Lisbon/Belém: Photo 17
A recent student writes, "When it was built, the cloister was absolutely unique. Nothing like it had ever been seen before. It is built on a square ground plan, its corners cut away from what is virtually an octagon. The idea of building two storeys completely in stone was a major innovation and the lavish decoration on the upper storey marked a totally new aesthetic departure, showing the importance that was attached to the cloister" (Pereira, p. 96).
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