Portugal Rosa dos Ventos

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
The square in front of the Monument to the Discoveries is known as Rosa dos Ventos (wind rose) or compass rose. Its construction was a gift from the South African government to Portugal.

The 50-meter compass is made from different types of limestone, including lioz, a rare type of limestone found only in Sintra. At the center of the compass is the mappa mundi (medieval European map) showing the routes of Portuguese ships during the Age of Discovery (15th-17th centuries).

The square is bordered by the traditional calçada portuguesa black and white cobblestones that create a wave pattern. Details of the compass include 5 small compass roses, 3 blowing faces representing the wind, a mermaid, a mythical fish, and Neptune.

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