The monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos was built in 1960 on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator, who inspired the Portuguese discovery voyages.
This monument is in honour of all Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries, when Portugal was a global force to be reckoned with.
The monument is 52 meters high and contains 33 different statues that have to do with discovery voyages: explorers, cartographers, artists, scientists, missionaries and members of the royal family. On the top of the monument stands Henry the Navigator, looking over the Tagus river. If you look closely (and are able to recognize them) you will also see Luís de Camões, Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias standing on the monument.
Do not climb!
It is forbidden to climb the monument and stand between the statues to take a picture (I can tell you from experience that a guard will run out in no-time to get you down). But only when you stand between these 9 meters high statues, you get a sense of how tall they are.
Of course you can visit the monument, at the cinema (in the basement) there’s a film about the history of Lisbon. There is also a lift to go to the roof, so you can enjoy the wide view of the harbor and the Torre de Belém.
Compass in the floor
From the roof you have a clear view of the compass and the map made of street. These mosaics represent which Portuguese discoveries were made and which territories belonged to the Portuguese in the time of the explorers.
Hoe kom je bij Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Address:Av. Brasília, Belém
March to September: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (open daily, closed every Monday in March).
October – February: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.