Ambiences and Tendencies

donate Books CDs HOME updates search contact

Heroism, Grace & Beauty

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Tower of Belem - day

It stands alone, defying the vastness of the waters that open before it. Seeing it, one thinks of a tower-shaped palace, spacious, large, imposing, with its several floors topped by a lookout pathway, where the guards can view the whole horizon.

Surrounded by patios, terraces and watchtowers, the fruit of a daring conception, a mixture of the militant and the sacred, the Tower of Belém is, in my view, one of the most beautiful monuments of Christendom.

When I saw it for the first time, I was immediately taken by its charm. It was the form of grandeur and pulchritude that I wanted to know, but could not imagine. Contemplating it with my own eyes, this thought came to mind: "I already had a presentiment of it, but I could not put it into words. Everything in me was inclined toward it, toward the desire that something like this should exist. Here is the tower that I have so longed for!"

I felt a very intense consonance that united us. It seemed to me magnificent in its dignity, calm, distinction and majesty. I saw the vigor, strength and, at the same time, suavity and delicacy present in those balconies from where the King and the court watched the departure of the valorous sailors. I could imagine the farewells on both sides, the hats and handkerchiefs waving their good-byes and all other expressions of warmth and friendship towards those who were leaving. This whole picture came at once to my imagination because of this consonance I felt with the Tower. To remember it is for me a source of joy: "There is the Tower. It exists and I can always see it again!"

An extraordinary portrayal of a noble and serious boldness resolved to confront the sea, the Tower of Belem invites us to higher thoughts. Its atmosphere is incompatible with superficiality, intrigue and the pettiness of human baseness. From it emanate spiritual and supernatural aromas, the marvelous perfume of divine grace, built as it was by souls moved by the Catholic spirit, whose artistic inspiration was surpassed by a kind of charisma and celestial gift in order to reach that splendorous achievement.

A work of the past, it speaks to us of the future. Its gleaming white stones transport us to a fairy tale.

It is the proper symbol of heroism, grace and beauty.

It seems to me that certain places and monuments, which do not have a direct religious meaning, but constitute a defined cultural expression that is very Catholic, should be admired for love of the Church. The Tower of Belém is one of those places.

I give it such an appreciation because I love the Mystical Bride of Christ. And when I praise it, I do so with a religious sentiment because grace touches my soul upon seeing it and perceiving in its charms the expressions of Christian sentiments that led the Lusitanian sailors, missionaries and conquistadores to take up that epopee – the Age of Discovery – that left its indelible groove in the waters of History.

Tower of Belem - night

The Tower at night - a reminder of the great maritime discoveries


Blason de Charlemagne
Follow us

Posted August 13, 2012

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes

Related Topics of Interest

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Our Lady of Belem - Her Adventure in America

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Dom Sebastian, the Star of Portugal

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   The Miracle of Ourique and the Birth of Portugal

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Blessed Nuno - Hero of Portugal

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   The Sacral in the Rialto Bridge of Venice

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   The Elegance of the Alexander III Bridge

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Catholic Ambience in Lima’s Public Square

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes

Related Works of Interest

A_civility.gif - 33439 Bytes

A_family.gif - 22354 Bytes

C_Formation_B.gif - 5946 Bytes
C_Clothing_R.gif - 5828 Bytes

C_4Temp_B.gif - 5500 Bytes

C_CatWay_R.gif - 6561 Bytes
C_RCRTen_B.gif - 6810 Bytes

C_Myth_R.gif - 6892 Bytes

Ambiences  |  Cultural  |  Home  |  Books  |  CDs  |  Search  |  Contact Us  |  Donate

Tradition in Action
© 2002-   Tradition in Action, Inc.    All Rights Reserved