A to Z of Statues – H is for Henry The Navigator

Leaving central Lisbon I to the railway station next door and joined another glacial ticket machine queue and waited to pay my fare to visit nearby Belém, it took forever, I could have walked there in the time it took to get to the front of the line but fortunately this didn’t inconvenience me so much and I didn’t miss the next train.

I immediately liked Belém, it was a little more relaxed than Lisbon city centre.  I walked first to the east for a good view of the suspension bridge and then to the west to the UNESCO listed Belém Tower and then to the real reason that I wanted to visit, The Monument to the Discoveries.

Located on the edge of the north bank of the Tagus, the fifty metre high slab of concrete, was erected in 1960 to commemorate the five hundredth  anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. The monument is sculpted in the form of a ship’s prow, with dozens of figures from Portuguese history following a statue of the Infante Henry looking out to the west perhaps contemplating another voyage of discovery.

20 responses to “A to Z of Statues – H is for Henry The Navigator

  1. A great A-Z idea. I saw Henry once in 2001 when I visited a cruise company for work. Can’t remember how I got there though.

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  2. Thanks for the memories I was there once great history and nice monument. Cheers

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  3. “Dozens of figures from Portuguese history”….well,.I’m embarrassed to say that I can manage Vasco de Gama and then……..well, there’s just Eusebio and that bloke who used to manage Wolves. And that’s it. It makes me feel so ignorant, really.
    Hopefully, there’s a key to who the dozens of figures are somewhere near the statue?

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  4. Ah, I only saw this through a telephoto lens!

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  5. Footballers: no one has mentioned Vítor Hugo Gomes Passos better known as Pelé, surely the greatest of them all. And then there is the current “we only drink water” one, Christiano Ronaldo.

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  6. Oh, yes this is a great monument, we looked around the maritime museum there too which was fascinating.

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  7. I am impressed with how well concrete was used here. I’m usually not so impressed with a concrete monument. This one is attractive and interesting. I had to check the translation of Infante Henrique and my translator doesn’t know how to handle the word. But another site told me it means Henry the Navigator.

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