Portugal like no other country may be proud of a number of renowned explorers. For years sailors had been embarking on the adventures of their lives and had been discovering unexplored lands. The Monument to the Discoveries was set up to commemorate their achivements. I went to see it straightaway as soon as I unpacked my suitcase in a hostel. However, first I had to get to Belem, one of the western districts in Lisbon. Fortunately, the access was convenient, I got on a tram 15 :)
Monument to the Discoveries is a 57 metres high cement construction. First it had been exposed in 1940. Then, it was demolished and the exact replica was built in 1960. The Monument shows a number of sculptures of the renowned people, well-known for their discoveries all over the world. We can admire the statues of Vasco da Gama, Henry the Navigator, Ferdinand Magellan and Bartolomeo Dias. From the rooftop visitors may watch a mosaic which is engraved at the foot of the monument. It represents a map of the world and marks the locations of the explorations. It is a gift from the South African government, received in 1960.