The Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon honours the Golden Age. This was when the Portuguese ships were leaving European shores to explore India and the Orient.
The story of this monument began in 1939 when it was built for the Portuguese World Exhibition. Originally, the monument was located in Praça do Império – just a few hundred metres from where it stands now. After the exhibition, the statue was demolished. The idea of depicting the Portuguese explorers was raised again in 1958, when the project of the current monument was brought up by the Ministry of Public Works. The sculpture would celebrate the fifth centennial of the death of Infante Henry the Navigator. The Padrão dos Descobrimentos was built just on the shores of the Tagus River, from the limestone of the Sintra mountains. The new monument was much larger in comparison to the original.
We were very lucky to see the Monument to the Discoveries following its renovations, which was accomplished a few years ago. This shot was taken during a winter sunrise; when the sun was rising just behind the monument, softly enlightening the limestone statues. You could almost imagine the Portuguese discoverers, setting sails early in the morning and leaving the safe Lisbon shores to explore the new lands.