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Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) 1
Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) 1

One of the most recent monuments in Lisbon is an ode to the history of Portugal.

Come and make your own discoveries at the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monumental sculpture beside the Tagus, commemorating the golden age of Portuguese history.

This huge stone caravel was built in 1940 for the Portuguese World Expo by the architect Cottinelli Telmo and the sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida. It was only given permanent status in 1960 to celebrate the fifth centenary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator.

Try to identify the main navigators, such as Bartholomew Dias – who turned the Cape of Torments into the Cape of Good Hope; Vasco da Gama – who discovered the maritime route to India; Pedro Álvares Cabral – who discovered Brazil; and Magellan – the first European to cross the southern Pacific and circumnavigate the earth.

Visit the Discoveries Cultural Centre; climb to the top to get a unique view of Praça do Império; and be inspired by the way how, in the 15th century, the small caravels set sail from this point in Belém to face the world’s oceans.

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