The Monument to the Discoveries was built in 1960 to celebrate and remember the five hundred years since the death of Henry the Navigator, who was the discoverer of Madeira as well as the Azores and Cape Verde.
It is located in the neighborhood of Belem and any visitor will find it curious how the imposing monument stands.
It measures an impressive fifty-two meters high, so the monument can be seen from quite a distance. The sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida and the architect José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo participated, who built this gigantic stone monolith in the shape of a caravel.
How to visit the Monument to the Discoveries
In the Monument to the Discoveries appear 33 illustrious characters and great personalities that represent the golden age of Portugal: the Age of Discoveries in the 16th century, and they all look at the Tagus River.
If you look at the monument in detail, you can see the coat of arms of Portugal on the sides and at the entrance is the sword of the Avís Dynasty, that of Manuel I, monarch and patron of the famous and famous Portuguese explorers and navigators who traveled to the most remote places on Earth, such as India or America. You can easily enter the building.
Since 1985, when the Cultural Center of the Discoveries was inaugurated, the interior was remodeled and since then in the monument we can access a viewpoint, an auditorium and several exhibition halls.
As a curiosity, it should be noted that its original name, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, the term Padrão designates in Portuguese a stone monolith topped by a cross that had the Portuguese arms engraved and an inscription. This monolith was used by the Portuguese navigators to certify that wherever it was placed, those lands were conquered by the Crown of Portugal.
The Viewpoint of the Monument to the Discoveries
If you climb to the top and look down you will see a large compass rose, about fifty meters in diameter, and in the center a world map.
On the world map we will see the routes followed by the discoverers to whom this great monument is dedicated. This part is a gift from South Africa at the time of construction.
From the ground you can also see the great rose of the winds, but its great totality and majesty will not be appreciated if you do not look from a higher place.
You can find more information on the official website of the Monument to the Discoveries.