Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Monument in Lisbon
Standing proudly on the riverside of Belém, the Monument to the Discoveries makes a striking impression. Originally designed in 1940 to commemorate the “Exposition of the Portuguese World,” an event organized by the Salazar government to honor the 800th and 300th anniversaries of the founding and restoration of Portugal in 1140 and 1640 respectively, the monument was eventually built in 1960 to celebrate 500 years since the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. The renowned architect Cottinelli Telmo was responsible for the design, while the talented sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida contributed to its creation.
At 52 meters tall, the monument takes the shape of a caravel, with the figure of Prince Henry the Navigator leading a procession of 32 notable figures from the Era of the Discoveries. These figures include King Afonso V (1432-1481), who played a significant role in the first discoveries, Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), the explorer who discovered the maritime route to India, Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467-1520), who discovered Brazil, and Fernando Magellan, who completed the first circumnavigation of the globe in 1522.
The facade of the monument, which faces the ground, is in the form of a cross adorned with the Sword of the Order of Aviz, the primary financial sponsor of the voyages.
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Visiting Padrão dos Descobrimentos
10am-7pm Mar-Sep, to 6pm Oct-Feb