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Skip Navigation LinksHomepage > Group > Lisbon > Must Visit > Museums

Museums

Calouste Gulbenkian  

Calouste Gulbenkian

This world-class museum presents the extraordinary collection of Calouste Gulbenkian, an oil magnate and art collector who left all of his art to Lisbon upon his death. A foundation was created in his name, and in addition to the museum with his collection there is a modern art center showing 20th century Portuguese and British art, and an auditorium in the foundation's main building for a rich cultural program of international artists and the foundation's own orchestra and choir. The collection of works by René Lalique, which Calouste Gulbenkian acquired directly from the artist, is considered unique in the world not only for its quality but also quantity. The Museum is part of an architectonic complex which comprises the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation head office building, an Art Library, auditoriums for concerts and conferences, a cafeteria and shops. The Gulbenkian Park, a place where contact with nature is privileged, further includes the Modern Art Center and an open-air auditorium.

Berardo Museum

Lisbon's most acclaimed modern and contemporary art collection is also recognized as one of Europe's best. It belongs to businessman Joe Berardo, a Portuguese millionaire who began collecting art with the assistance of his friend Francisco Capelo whose own collection is seen in the city's Design and Fashion Museum. Berardo's permanent collection is found inside the Belém Cultural Center and is always rearranged in thematic exhibitions (temporary exhibits from international collections also often share the space).
  Berardo Museum

Ancient Art Museum  

Ancient Art Museum

Portugal's National Gallery is the Ancient Art Museum, housed in a 17th century palace. Its most significant works include Hieronymus Bosch's Temptation of Saint Anthony and Albrecht Dürer's Saint Jerome, but the main highlight is a 15th century masterpiece attributed to Portuguese artist Nuno Gonçalves, called the Panels of Saint Vincent. It is one of the first collective portraits in European art, showing sixty portraits of various personalities believed to be venerating Saint Vincent. One of them is Prince Henry the Navigator in his most famous illustration. In addition to paintings, there is also a collection of sculptures and decorative arts, much of it related to the Age of Discovery when Portugal made Europe's first cultural exchanges with Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Of particular interest is the Monstrance of Belém made with gems and gold brought back by Vasco da Gama, and Japanese screens showing the Portuguese arriving in Japan. After a visit to the museum, relax in its delightful garden with river views where you can sit enjoying a drink or meal from the museum café.

Coaches Museum

The Coaches Museum is one of Lisbon's most popular attractions, and it is easy to understand why when you see its fairy-tale collection that is believed to be the most valuable of its kind in the world. The ostentatious vehicles on display have carried European royalty and nobility throughout the centuries, with the most magnificent being the one used in an embassy to France's Louis XIV, another by Portugal's ambassador to Pope Clement XI, and one from the 19th century used by Queen Elizabeth II on a state visit. The oldest example dates from the late 16th century, one of only two in the world in existence from that time (the other is in Moscow).
  Coaches Museum

Orient Museum  

Orient Museum

As the European city to make the first cultural and trade contacts with much of Asia, Lisbon had to have a space dedicated to the art and culture of the Orient, explaining the role it played in it. This museum opened in 2008 in a former warehouse and has an important collection of Indo-Portuguese pieces, Chinese ceramics, masks, paintings, and textiles. There are also Hindu and Buddhist pieces as part of the "Gods of Asia" collection donated by Kwok On, and a restaurant serving an Asian menu. More than a museum, this is a cultural center also hosting special events and temporary exhibitions relating to the Far East.

Tile Museum

One of Lisbon's most unique and beautiful attractions, the Tile Museum presents the history and evolution of the art of the ceramic tile. It is housed in a 16th century convent which has a magnificent church and cloisters that can be visited together with the museum. There are Moorish geometric tiles and modern creations, but the most famous display is a 36m-long composition of 1300 tiles showing Lisbon as it looked before the 1755 earthquake. You may buy some original pieces at the shop, and stay for a meal in the restaurant which is naturally also decorated with beautiful tile panels.
  Tile Museum

Fado Museum  

Fado Museum

You don't have to be a fan of Fado music to enjoy the Fado Museum. Much more than a space about that musical genre, it also shows the cultural and political environment of much of 20th century Lisbon. An audio guide explains what is displayed (in Portuguese, English, French, or Spanish), and a multimedia service allows visitors to consult recordings, biographies, and images of the past. The museum restaurant is a surprisingly contemporary space (complete with Philippe Starck chairs) and serves Portuguese cuisine along with live Fado performances at night, while the shop is the place to pick up Fado recordings from the past and present.


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