Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Museum in Belém

The monolithic Padrão dos Descobrimentos, looking like a caravel frozen in midswell, was inaugurated in 1960 on the 500th anniversary of Henry the Navigator’s death. The 56m-high limestone giant is chock-full of Portuguese bigwigs. At the prow is Henry, while behind him are explorers Vasco da Gama, Diogo Cão, Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan) and 29 other greats.

Do take the lift (or puff up 267 steps) to the windswept miradouro for 360-degree views over the river. The mosaic in front of the monument charts the routes of Portuguese mariners.


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