Photo via Olhares
The Padrão dos Descobrimentos, or Monument to the Discoveries, is located in Lisbon, Portugal on the banks of the Tagus River right where ships used to depart for trade or exploration during Portugal’s “Age of Discovery” during the 15th and 16th centuries. The monument is covered with statues of people who made significant contributions to explorations and discoveries during the period. They are led by Henry the Navigator, standing on the bow holding a model of a caravel.
The monument isn’t just a statue though, it is also a museum on the inside consisting of 7 floors of exhibitions dedicated to the history of exploration during the time period, and the roof of the monument is a viewing terrace where visitors can get a great glimpse of the river and of the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in Lisbon. Notable sites which can be seen from the top of the 56 m-high terrace are the Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Palace, Memória Church, Ajuda National Palace, Tejo Power Station and the Belém Cultural Centre. You can also see where the river merges with the Atlantic Ocean, and the sunsets are unmatchable. Special cultural events and artistic gatherings are frequently held inside.
Anyone can come view the monument from the outside, but entrance requires a 3 euro ticket (though tickets are discounted for schools, large groups and families). It is probably best to go during the summer months because while the tourist population in Europe is generally increased, so are the hours. In the summer the museum of the monument is open every day until 7pm (last entries at 6:30), where as in the winter it is only opened during a portion of the week and also closes an hour earlier. Not to mention that visiting this monument during a summer trip to Lisbon would be a nice way to get out of the heat in the museum and then enjoy some nice high up breezes from the roof terrace, to cool off from touring around the city all day.
Photo via CURIOSIDADES DA HISTÓRIA