Padrão dos Descobrimentos Belém, on the banks of the Tagus River, hosts a multitude of attractions, so many in fact, that it would be hard to see them all in a day. But walking along the banks of the Tagus River will give one a preview of the Age of Discovery. The Padrão dos Descobrimentos or the Monument of the Discoveries is a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Age of Discovery when Portuguese explorers roamed the "unknown" world and brought untold riches back to their native shores. On the ship shaped monument are Prince Henry the Navigator followed by personalities who had a hand in the discoveries. On the northern flank are King Alfonso V, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Bartolomeu Dias and St. Francis, among others. Two interesting figures on the southern flank, which can be seen on the image above, are Luis Vaz de Camões, Portugal's national poet and a woman, Queen Philippa of Lancaster, the mother of Henry and the brain of the discoveries.
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” - James Michener