This striking monument was designed to commemorate the Portugese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th-century. Its position on the northern bank of the Tagus River is symbolic of where ships departed to explore and trade.
It was inaugurated in 1960, on the fifth centenary of the death of one of Portugal’s great discoverers, Prince Henry the Navigator, who discovered the Azores, Madeira and Cape Verde. It is made up of a collection of sculptures that represent the prow of a caravel - a small sailing ship built by the Portuguese to explore the Atlantic Ocean. At the foot of the monument, a 50 metre wide marble mosaic of a compass was given to Portugal by the Republic of South Africa.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos can be reached by train from the city centre, or on foot along the waterfront promenade, which also leads up to Belém Tower. After admiring its limestone exterior, an elevator will take you to the monument’s platform with views across Belém, the Tagus Estuary and the Ponte 25 de April suspension bridge.