The original temporary Monument to the Discoveries was put up for the 1940 Exhibition, and the permanent stone Salazarist glorification of the Discoveries opened to the public only in 1960. From the side, it takes the form of a tall oblong; at the base, sculpted figures of discoverers line a stylised prow jutting over the Tagus. They're led by Prince Henry the Navigator. Viewed head on, the monument appears as a giant sword-cum-cross, its point embedded in the riverbank, marking the entrance to the little exhibition space. Inside there's a lift to the top for fine views. As the sun follows its course, the shadow of the monument traces the progress of Portuguese explorers around a marble map of the world on the square below. Key dates, such as Vasco da Gama's rounding of the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 and Pedro ílvares Cabral's landing in Brazil in 1500, are marked.
|Venue name:||Padrão dos Descobrimentos||Contact:|
Avenida de Brasília
|Opening hours:||Oct-Feb 10am-6pm Tue-Sun. Mar 10am-7pm Tue-Sun. Apr-Sept 10am-7pm daily|
|Transport:||Rail to Belém from Cais do Sodré. Tram 15. Bus 28, 714, 727, 729, 751|
|Price:||€3; €2 reductions; free under-13s|