Located on the banks of the Tagus River, this impressive monument was built to commemorate Portuguese navigators who sailed around Africa and into India during the Age of Discovery.
Designed by renowned architect José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida, it stands at an impressive 52 meters tall and features a large statue of Henry The Navigator standing atop a caravel ship. The main structure is surrounded by 32 statues representing famous figures from Portuguese history such as Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Bartolomeu Dias and Pedro Álvares Cabral. It also includes two smaller ships with sculptures depicting sailors embarking on their voyages.
Visitors can climb up to the terrace for panoramic views over Belém Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and other landmarks along Lisbon’s waterfront. Inside, there are interactive displays about Portugal’s maritime heritage, including maps showing routes taken by explorers during their expeditions. There’s also an auditorium where visitors can watch movies about Portugal’s discoveries or listen to lectures given by historians about its role in shaping modern day Europe through exploration and trade links with Asia, Africa, and South America.
The Monument of Discoveries has become one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist attractions since opening in 1960 for Portugal’s 500th anniversary celebrations marking Prince Henry The Navigator’s death in 1460 AD.