Anchored on the banks of the Tagus River, in “Belém”, we find the Monument to the Discoveries, popularly known in Lisbon, Portugal, as “Padrão dos Descobrimentos”. The monument, built in 1960, served to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator, discoverer of “Madiera”, the Azores and Cape Verde.
It was commissioned by the regime of “António de Oliveira Salazar”, it is 52 meters high and celebrates the sailors, real patrons and all those who participated in the development of the Age of Discovery. The authors of the work were the architect “José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo” and the sculptor “Leopoldo de Almeida”.
The sculpture has the shape of the tip of a caravel (type of sea vessel) on which “Infante Enrique (Henrique)” leads numerous characters who had great discoveries for Portugal. Among them we find King Alfonso V, Vasco da Gama, Afonso Baldaia, Pedro Alvares Cabral, Fernando de Magallanes, Ferdinan el Santo, Joao Goncalves Zarco among many others.
Prior to the monument we see today, another one had been built in 1940, a short lived monument as part of the Portuguese World Expo.