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Padrão dos Descobrimentos

The Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is one of Lisbon’s most visited sites and a landmark of the Discoveries era.

First erected in 1940, in a temporary form, as part of the Portuguese World Exhibition, it was created by the architect Cottinelli Telmo and the sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida. 

In 1960, to mark the 500 years since the death of the Infante Dom Henrique, the monument was reconstructed into its present form, in concrete and rose-tinted Leiria stone masonry, with the sculptures made of Sintra limestone masonry.

Standing alone in a striking position on the breakwater on the bank of the Tagus, the Monument to the Discoveries evokes the Portuguese overseas expansion, recalls the country’s glorious past and symbolizes the enormity of the work carried out by the Infante, the driving force behind the Discoveries.

In 1985 the Centro Cultural das Descobertas was opened, designed by the architect Fernando Ramalho, who remodeled its interior, giving the monument a viewpoint, auditorium and exhibition hall.

Photo by de Luís Pavão Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa

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