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Delve deep into Portuguese history with a visit to museums in Lisbon

By Carlton Leisure - 24/11/2014


Situated on seven hills overlooking Rio Tejo, Lisbon is a destination you will love to visit very often. This one of the most prominent European capitals is beautifully studded with Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums but doesn’t make big claims regarding this. The city has enough things to cater tourists with varying interest but if you are still not satisfied visit its backstreets where you can have a peek into the life of a common city dweller. Although the city caters all sort of travellers but it is particularly popular among tourists with love for history and culture. Here we turn spotlight on major museums in the city.

National Museum of Ancient Art

One of the major art museums in city, National Museum of Ancient Art, locally referred as The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, is nestled in a former place. The museum has a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, metalwork, textiles, furnitures and drawings. A fine collection of the 15th and 16th centuries painting, sculpture, and metalwork are also on display here. The museum is home to a vast collection of painting but most of the travellers visit it for the Saint Vincent Panels.

Berardo Collection Museum

Situated in Belem, Berardo Collection Museum is devoted to modern and contemporary art. The museum named after José Berardo was opened for public in 2006. The museum showcases a collection of 1000 artworks in its temporary and permanent displays. Art lovers visiting the place will come across American and European art of 20th and 21st centuries.

Museu da Marinha

This one of the most popular maritime museums in Europe showcases Portugal's superiority at the seas. The visitors will get amazed to see 17,000 items installed in the west wing of Jerónimos Monastery. Museu da Marinha shows model ships from the Age of Discovery onward. The maritime museum has various artefacts representing the Archangel Raphael that accompanied Vasco da Gama on his voyage to India.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The museum started from the personal collection of Calouste Gulbenkian – an Armenian philanthropist - is one of the major museums in the city. Apart from that it also showcase works of legends like Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Cassat. In addition to the displays, the garden attached with the museum also worth a visit.

Museum of the Orient

Locally referred as Museu do Oriente this Lisbon based museum showcases the history of Portuguese exploration with a collection of Asian artefacts. Opened in 2008, the museum is housed in a refurbished industrial building on the Alcântara waterfront. On their arrival, the visitors will see will see artefacts from the several parts of Asia that includes Indonesian textiles, Japanese screens, and antique snuff bottles and crucifixes made in Asia.