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Rosa dos Ventos
NileGuide Expert Says:
An entertaining and informative way of learning more about the sea routes taken by intrepid Portuguese navigators.
Avenida de Brasília
+351 (0)21 303 1950
NileGuide Expert tip:
Many expert tour guides impart compelling history lessons about the period using the map as reference. Stand behind or to the side of a tour group and listen in for a little extra info.
Portugal's Age of Discovery effectively began in 1415 with the capture of the North African city of Ceuta. By 1543 they had reached Japan! Along the way Diogo Gomes discovered the Cape Verde archipelago, Bartolomeu Dias rounded the toe of Africa, Vaso da Gama landed in India and Pedro Álves Cabral reached Brazil. These and other astonishing feats of Portuguese maritime exploration are cleverly illustrated as a beautifully designed rosa dos ventos, or wind compass, a huge circular mosaic lying at the foot of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument in Belém. At the centre of the compass is a map of the world that charts in chronological order the dates on which each new land was discovered. Visitors can shuffle along the coast of Africa, step across the Indian Ocean and have their photographs taken standing in the Far East in just a matter of minutes. To appreciate the scale of the mosaic nip up to the top of the Discoveries monument for a bird's eye view. © NileGuide2011