Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Lisbon, Portugal

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient. The monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries.

In 1958 the Ministry of Public Works, the Overseas Provinces and the Câmara Municipal of Lisbon, promoted the intent to construct a permanent Monument to the Discoveries. Between November 1958 and January 1960, the new monument was constructed in cement and rose-tinted stone, and the statues sculpted from limestone excavated from the region of Sintra.

Inaugurated on 9 August 1960, it was one of several projects nationwide that were intended to mark the Comemorações Henriquinas (the celebrations marking the anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator).

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Details

Founded: 1958-1960
Category: Statues in Portugal

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Matthias Rodamer (2 months ago)
This place is good to hang around and getting some good vibes beside the water. There are lots of seller for sunglasses but there is also some live street music, which is really good and highly to recommend. Only the parking facilities are a little bit difficult but you'll find a spot.
Luqman Hakim (2 months ago)
I thought the design of the building was magnificent. You should take a 360 degree look at this from both sides, you can tell that it was beautifully carved on the wall. There's a museum inside as well, and from what I recall, it's a museum of mythical creatures and more. Pretty interesting, but the main highlight is taking the lift up to the viewing point where you get a good view of Lisboa.
Angelo Oliveira (3 months ago)
Fantastic monument marking the courage and spirit of the first men to go where nobody had dared to before. Just along the Tagus river leading into the sea, it's not only an important landmark but is surrounded litteraly by countless other points to visit on your map. Impressive scale and dimension, only further enhanced it you bother to do some homework on some of the fearless Captains who feature in it .This spot is definitely not only beautiful but you can really take in the spirit of the sea and have a good breath of fresh air in case the bustling streets of Lisbon have left you feeling a little stuffy .
Thirsty Horse (4 months ago)
There's a beautiful walk along the coast you can take to get away from Lisbon traffic and along the way you'll find this impossing monument. So what exactly is it? Well it pays homage to the Portuguese age of discovery, that period of exploration that witnessed the discovery of South America. The monument resembles a ship pointing out to see with a number of statues representing individuals such as explorers, poets and missionaries, basically all those involved in overseas exploration. The monument can be entered and there's a viewpoint at the top of it. I didn't go up there, but the whole surrounding area on the bright sunny winter's day I was there, was gorgeous!
jessica ng (5 months ago)
It is really beautiful and definitely worth going to. I would suggest you eat beforehand and bring some food as there are not many places of affordable and tasty food available. But it is definitely a must go. The vibe and music is amazing and this is definitely a work of art. There are a lot of rental bikes and other rental individual transportations but it is quite pricey but it really looks fun. The walk to other destinations are not too far but can be a little tiring when you walk for too long so it's always best to have something to refuel your energy. You can really see an amazing view. The best spot to take pictures is actually on the other side of the statue across the boat parking lot and the haven as you can capture the entire statue as a whole. It is actually a lot better to take the pictures from further away.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.