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What to see near the Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon

The vast majority of tourists who arrive in Lisbon go to the Belém neighborhood, downstream from the Tagus. There is this recent construction, but in a location full of history, being very close to the mouth of the river in the Atlantic. Not only that, but near the Monument to the Discoveries there are tourist assets of the first order.

The site of the Monument to the Discoveries

Monument to the Discoveries – chicadelatele / Flickr.com

The Belém neighborhood was once a separate entity from Lisbon, but today it is already integrated in the Portuguese capital. For that reason, public transport in the form of trams or buses reaches there. And it precisely reaches very close to the Monument to the Discoveries, on the banks of the Tagus.

The Monument to the Discoveries, built in 1960, is unmistakable, with its shape of a ship’s prow and with the reliefs of the greatest personalities in Portuguese history such as Vasco de Gama or Magellan. And, of course, that of King Henry the Navigator, in whose memory this monument was erected on the 500th anniversary of his death.

 

“The sea will give each man a new hope, as sleep gives him dreams.”

-Christopher Columbus-

What’s up near the Monument to the Discoveries

However, once we have contemplated the monument, we can take the opportunity to visit really attractive places in the surroundings. These are some of those places near the Monument to the Discoverers that you must know:

1. The Jerónimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery by Dennis van de Water

One of the great jewels of Lisbon’s historical heritage is this monastery, which was built by King Manuel I in the 16th century. In fact, this monumental complex is the most splendid example of an artistic style exclusive to Portuguese lands, and that precisely bears the name of that monarch: Manueline style.

Anyway, Los Jerónimos is an essential visit during a trip to Lisbon, with its beautiful cloister and its spectacular church. And it is a few meters from the Monument to the Discoveries.

2. The Tower of Belem

Belém Tower – LALS STOCK

Parallel to the construction of the aforementioned monastery, the Tower of Belém was built on the waters of the Tagus. A magnificent construction, with its 35 meters high on five levels.

And this tower is even closer to the mouth of the river than the Monument to the Discoveries itself. Something logical, since carried out surveillance work for all those ships that departed and returned from making these discoveriesand also to trade across the seven seas.

3. The cakes from Belém

Pasteis de Belém – Heather Cowper / Flickr.com

A monument with a very different look is the pastry shop offered by the famous cakes from Belém. An unmistakable and inimitable sweet that has become an emblem of the city and the entire country.

There you can taste the authentic graze, and do it in some halls steeped in history where tourists from all over the world sweeten their trip to Portugal. A tasting that must be done if you visit the Monument to the Discoveries.

4. Museums near the Monument to the Discoveries

Carriage Museum – Jose Antonio Moreno Cabezudo / Flickr.com

Museums abound in this area, and there is something for everyone. A short distance away you can visit the Marine Museum, but also the Carriage Museum. Likewise, very close to the Monument to the Discoveries is the Museum of Popular Art, or a few streets further on is the Museum of the Presidency of the Republic or the Berardo Collection. In short, a bit of everything.

5. The April 25 Bridge

April 25 Bridge – Pedro / Flickr.com

However, if you get to the Monument to the Discoveries, what you have to do is look out over the Tagus, here converted into a huge estuary. A river that in the Lisbon capital seems more typical of other latitudes, since it has considerable dimensions.

This size is best appreciated by relating it to the enormous 25 de Abril Bridge. This impressive infrastructure links both shores and is visible from this point. A suspension bridge from the 20th century that exceeds 2 kilometers in length. A work that in its day was a benchmark of Portuguese engineering.

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