Portuguese Explorers MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

A monument (padrão) commemorates the early voyages of  Portuguese navigators in the southern seas. The memorial also includes the busts of Vasco Da Gama, the Portugese explorer and Prince Henry The Navigator.

The sculptural installation of the busts were a gift from the Portuguese government and presented to Warrnambool City Council. The sculptor, Jose Nuncio, completed the work in 1999, and it was inaugurated at Warrnambool on the 25th February 2001. 

Prince Henry the Navigator founded a school of navigation in Sagres, Portugal. This led to navigation techniques that made the 15th century voyages of discovery possible. The vision of Prince Henry brought together ship builders, cartographers, instrument makers and mathematicians. 

Vasco de Gama rounded the southern tip of Africa and sailed across the Indian Ocean to India in 1496. This started a new era of trade and exploration, expanding the boundaries of the known world, and linking the east with west.

Note: A padrão was a large stone cross inscribed with the coat of arms of Portugal that was placed as part of a land claim by numerous Portugese explorers during the Portugese Age of Discovery.

The legend of Portugese explorers in the area is based on many historical reports that a shipwreck was sighted partially buried in the town’s dunes in 1876, before disappearing in the shifting sands the following year. The mysterious ‘Mahogany Ship’ is thought to be a 16th century Portuguese caravel.




Address:Artillery Crescent, Cannon Hill, Warrnambool, 3280
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.389133
Long: 142.4823
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Monument Designer:Robert Ulmann, Jose Nuncio (busts)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 25th February, 1990
Front Inscription

Assim fomos abrindo- aqueles mares.
Que gerai‡ao alguma nao abriu
(Canto V Lusiades, Luis de Camoes).

A Gift From The
Government Of
Portugal In
Commemoration Of
The Early Voyages
Of Portuguese
Navigators In
The Southern Seas.

Erected By The
City Of
25th February 1990.
Cr T.A. McCormick
J.P. ~ Mayor.

Source: MA,VMR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design