Seen from the huge mariners compass this monument fascinates visitors with its impressiveness and its 50 metres height. It is visited by millions of people each year. Cut into the paving stone, the compass (see panel above) was a present from the Republic of South Africa in 1960 and it's best seen from the top of the Monument to the Discoveries, that you can access by elevator located inside the building. The central map, depicting galleons and mermaids, shows the routes of the discoverers in the 15th and 16th centuries.
It is located in Belém, on the bank of the River Tagus, in an unique monumental area and looks particularly dramatic in the light of the late afternoon sun.