Portuguese Monuments - Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lisbon

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Inaugurated on August 10, 1960, the Monument to the Discoveries was first raised, precariously, in 1940, at Empire Square. It was 50 meters high and was built in its architectural part by a light structure of iron and cement, and by a sculptural composition, in staff, made up of 33 figures, of which 32 had the height of 7 meters, and one of Infante D. Henrique, the height of 9 meters.

It was placed on the axis of Praça-Belém, in Lisbon, next to the Tagus. Its configuration gives the idea of the prow of a nau, which furrows the seas, and carries with it the most significant figures of Portuguese History, limited to the 16th century.

Twenty years later, in 1960, it was the Monument to the Discoveries, past the definitive sculpture.

Construction work began in November 1958 and ended practically in January 1960. The rapid realization of the Standard required the collaboration of a large technical team. The stability studies of the monument were carried out by Professor Engineer Edgar Cardoso, with the collaboration of engineers Ruy Correia and António Abreu, and the first two also supervised the construction works.

Thus, the Standard has the following main general dimensions:

  • height above ground

  • 50 meters maximum width

  • 20 meters maximum length

  • 46 meters occupancy area

  • 695 square meters and average depth of the foundation piles

Although at first glance the Padrão dos Descobrimentos gives the idea of a sculptural piece, consisting of several separate and overlapping blocks, the truth is that its very strong structure is made entirely of reinforced concrete, forming with the walls a single monolith. The superstructure rests. by means of a ribbed reinforced concrete shoe in a pile system of the same material, molded on the ground.

In the order of distribution by which the biographies appear, it begins in the first figure of the base of the ramp facing Lisbon, follows that ramp neatly to the Infante and then descends the ramp facing Cascais to its base.

Successively: Cristóvão da Gama, S. Francisco Xavier, Afonso de Albuquerque, António de Abreu, Diogo Cão, Bartolomeu Dias, Stephen of Gama, João de Barros, Martim Afonso de Sousa, Gaspar Corte Real, Nicholas Rabbit, Fernão de Magalhães, Pedro Alvares Cabral, Afonso Baldaia, Vasco da Gama, D. Afonso V, Infante D.Henrique in the center, Infante D.Fernando, Gonçalves Zarco, Gil Eanes, Period of Alenquer, Pedro Nunes, Pedro Escobar, Jácome from Mallorca, Pero Covilhã, Diogo Gomes Eanes Azurara, Nuno Gonçalves, Luís Vaz de Camões, Friar Henrique de Carvalho, Friar Gonçalo de Carvalho, Fernão Mendes Pinto, D. Filipa de Lencastre, Infante D.Pedro.

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