Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Padrão dos Descobrimentos and Torre de Belém: Golden Age Of Discovery Monuments, Lovely LisbonSeries 6

Padrão dos Descobrimentos and Torre de Belém 
Golden Age Of Discovery Monuments
Lovely LisbonSeries 6

One must visit place while in Belem
are the Padrão dos Descobrimentos 
or the Monument to the Discoveries

…and the ancient Torre de Belém,

Padrão dos Descobrimentos is located at the northern bank 
of the Tagus River estuary, where ships used to  depart to explore
and trade with other parts of the world. It celebrates the Portuguese
Age of Discovery or Age of Exploration during the 15th and 16th century.


The monument was designed to appear like
the bow of a boat overlooking the estuary,

…populated with life size  sculptures
of great ancient explorers and seafarers,
with the rear representing the Latin Cross.



Leading the pack was Henry the Navigator
Prince Infante D. Henrique of Portugal, the
Duke of Viseu, an important figure in 15th-
century Portuguese politics  and regarded as
the main initiator during the Age of Discoveries.

We were on the look out for Ferdinand Magellan,
the popular Portuguese explorer known to be the
very first  person to circumnavigate the world.

He was the fifth person in the row at the Eastern side
of the monument. The kids were interested to see his
figure as he is credited in their history books as  the
one who discovered the Philippines, where he died
after being killed by Lapu- Lapu, a Cebuano warrior.

At the from façade flanking the staircase are two inscriptions:
the first  on the left, "AO INFANTE D. HENRIQVE E AOS
DO MAR"   translated as “To Prince Henry and the Portuguese
that  Discovered the Roads of the Sea) over a metal anchor;

 …and, on the right "NO V CENTENÁRIO DO INFANTE
 D. HENRIQVE 1460 – 1960" that translates to “On the Fifth
centenary of Prince Henry 1460–1960),  over a crown of laurel.

From the Padrão dos Descobrimentos,
we strolled at the scenic riverside park
which is a part of the Tagus River estuary.

It is  lined with bars, 

…and restaurants,

…and stalls selling souvenirs to tourists.

At the other end of the riverbank estuary is an
ancient watchtower called Torre de Belém.


Belém Tower is a fortified tower that played a significant role in the 
Portuguese maritime discoveries at era of the Golden Age of Exploration.


Along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery,

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the early 16th century 
at the mouth of the Tagus river and serves as a ceremonial gateway 
to Lisbon to travelers in the past. The tower was apparently built in a
small island the middle of the Tagus and now stands at the shoreline 
when the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.

The triple attractions of  Padrão dos Descobrimentos,
Belem Tower  together with the Jerónimos Monastery,
are not to be missed by anyone visiting the Belem District.

Read my other blogs on 
Lovely Lisbon Series

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