Travel Photo Thursday: Monument to the Discoveries – Lisbon, Portugal

Today’s travel photo celebrates travel, discovery and the sense of adventure. Lisbon’s Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is dedicated to the Portuguese who led Europe’s Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was constructed in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator, the first in a long line of explorers to venture into the great unknown. Led by Prince Henry at the helm, the monument also features the likenesses of explorers Magellan, Vasco da Gama and Cabral, kings Manuel I and Alfonso V, poet Camões and several other notable Portuguese historical figures. The only female on the monument is Henry the Navigator’s mother, Queen Philippa of Lancaster, who appears to be praying for the safe return of her son. They face the Tagus River, from where countless caravels set sail in hopes of finding new trade routes to Africa, India and the Orient.

The Monument to the Discoveries is located in the waterfront neighborhood of Belém, just a few minutes away from downtown Lisbon by tram. Also in the area are two other must-see sights: The Torre de Belém (Belem Tower) and the spectacular Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jeronimos Monastery), both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Here are more shots of the Monument to the Discoveries:

 

 

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