Museums and cultural centers, Lisbon

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  • Unique Turkish guns of XVII century
    Unique Turkish guns of XVII century
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    Exterior
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    Interior (2)
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    Gulbenkian Museum.

    by breughel Updated Mar 16, 2013

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    Lalique jewel with snakes.
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    This museum is a must for the art lover.
    Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian, build up his wealth by investing in the petroleum exploitation and set up a collection of excellent art works whom he bequeathed, as well as his fortune, to the Portuguese state, after living in Lisbon from 1942 to 1955.

    It is a multiple museum in the sense that it displays Egyptian antiquities as well as modern decorative arts. Approximately 1000 art works are exposed in a very pleasant frame.
    The museum is characterized by its variety: Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian, Islamic, Armenian art, Far East art with a magnificent china collection and a beautiful collection of European paintings including most of the great masters from Flemish "primitives" to the impressionists.
    The Islamic oriental art of Persia, Turkey, Syria is put in evidence particularly with beautiful tapestries.
    There are also sculptures of which Rodin, ancient illustrated books and a collection of European decorative arts among which French tapestries.
    Most amazing is the room dedicated to the jewels of the Frenchman René Lalique.
    I would dare to say that this only room already justifies the visit of the Gulbenkian Museum.

    Opening Times:
    Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5.45 p.m.
    Closed on Mondays, and on the following holidays:
    January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1,and December 25

    Tickets (2013): 4 €, students & seniors 2 €, free 12 yr and on Sunday.

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    MARITIME MUSEUM II. Merchant and Fishing Fleet.

    by breughel Updated Feb 27, 2011

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    Sails and steam
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    Next to the Maritime Power themed rooms, a half dozen rooms display the civilian aspects of the Portuguese fleet.
    -Merchant Marine Room with models of sailing ships as well as liners from the 20th c.
    -Coastal fishing and deep sea fishing were very important for Portugal. Here is kept the history of the “Codfish (bacalhau) Campaigns” in Greenland.
    -A room is dedicated to the River Traffic.
    -From the Pleasure Craft Room, the visitor learns that up to the mid 19th century, pleasure sailing was limited almost exclusively to the royal family.
    -Interesting is the room showing the cabins used by king Carlos and queen Amelia, preserved after the breaking up of the royal yacht “Amelia” in 1938.

    The Museu de Marinha is open:
    From 10 to 17 h (1/10 - 30/04)
    From 10 to 18 h (1/05 - 30/09)
    Closed: Mondays and National Holidays
    Price: 4 €, 6/18 years old, students & over 65 old 2 €.
    Lisboa Card 2,50 €
    Free: than 6 years, Sundays between 10.00 and 14.00 h and 20/05.

    Photos and films allowed without flash or tripod.

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    MARITIME MUSEUM III. The Royal Barges.

    by breughel Updated Sep 29, 2012

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    Royal brig
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    This huge pavilion - Pavilhão das Galeotas - on the other side of the court-yard contains very fine pieces like the famous royal barges and several traditional fishing, river traffic and pleasure craft.

    There are six of these "galeotas" barges build in the 18th c., much decorated, and used by the members of the royal family and dignitaries on the river Tagus.

    Most striking is the Royal brig «bergantim real» 29 m long, 4 m maximum width, built for Queen Maria I in 1780 . The brig was propelled by 40 oars with 78 oarsmen and carried such historical figures as Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Elizabeth II of England in 1957. This was the last trip of the Royal brig.

    The 1st Crossing of the South Atlantic by Air in 1922 by Portuguese naval officers is evoked in a part of this pavilion with the seaplane Santa Cruz.

    The Museu de Marinha is open:
    From 10 to 17 h (1/10 - 30/04)
    From 10 to 18 h (1/05 - 30/09)
    Closed: Mondays and National Holidays
    Price(2012): 5 €, 6/18 years old, students & over 65 old 2,50 €.
    Lisboa Card 3,0 €
    Free: than 6 years, Sundays between 10.00 and 14.00 h and 20/05.

    Photos and films allowed without flash or tripod.

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    MARITIME MUSEUM IV. Maufroy de Seixas Room.

    by breughel Updated Feb 27, 2011

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    Large scale model.

    This page is intended for the amateurs and the passionate persons of naval model making.
    When I read that the collection of models of the beginning of the 19th century, stored at the naval school of Lisbon, had been destroyed in 1916 by a fire, I wondered if the museum of Belem was worth the visit given the loss of the ancient models of vessels.
    Knowing from experience how many months or years are needed to build a model of a full-rigged vessel, amateurs can only be sad about this loss.

    Fortunately Portugal had Henrique Maufroy de Seixas (1896-1948) who performed a large part of research and preservation work of boats and ships. He produced models of extraordinary quality, preserving many details of a technological and artistic nature. He recruited a remarkable team of craftsmen, mostly from the Naval Arsenal and assembled and used a large number of drawings, plans and other documents, so that the scale models are exact replicas of the originals.
    We may think that thanks to him models manufactured after the fire might be more precise than the old models destroyed by the fire of 1916.
    Maufroy de Seixas bequeathed his collections of approximately 300 models of ships as well as uncountable documents to the Portuguese state what allows this museum to present so much beautiful models of various periods.
    A room is dedicated to him.

    The Museu de Marinha is open:
    From 10 to 17 h (1/10 - 30/04)
    From 10 to 18 h (1/05 - 30/09)
    Closed: Mondays and National Holidays
    Price: 4 €, 6/18 years old, students & over 65 old 2 €.
    Lisboa Card 2,50 €
    Free: than 6 years, Sundays between 10.00 and 14.00 h and 20/05.

    Photos and films allowed without flash or tripod.

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    Musée Maritime IV. Henrique Maufroy de Seixas.

    by breughel Updated Apr 9, 2011

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    Fr��gate D. Fernando

    This long tip was written in French and separately in English at a time where VT limited the number of characters.

    Cette page est réservée aux amateurs et passionnés de modélisme naval.
    Lorsque j'ai lu que la collection de modèles du début du 19ème siècle entreposée à l'école navale de Lisbonne avait été détruite en 1916 par un incendie, je me suis demandé si le musée de Belem valait la visite étant donné la perte des anciens modèles de voiliers. Lorsqu'on sait d'expérience combien de mois ou d'années il faut pour construire une maquette de voilier ancien sous voiles on ne peut qu'être sensible à cette perte.

    Heureusement le Portugal a pu compter sur Henrique Maufroy de Seixas (1896-1948), chercheur et homme de la mer qui a reproduit ou fait reproduire par des artisans de l'Arsenal naval des modèles d'une grande qualité et précision historique. Pour s'assurer de l'exactitude des modèles Maufroy de Seixas a utilisé un grand nombre de documents, dessins, plans, photos et s'est entouré des conseils de marins. On peut penser que grâce à lui les maquettes manufacturées après l'incendie sont peut être plus précises que les maquettes plus anciennes détruites par l'incendie de 1916.
    Il a légué ses collections soit environ 300 modèles de navires ainsi que d'innombrables documents à l'état portugais ce qui permet à ce musée de présenter tant de belle maquettes des différentes époques.
    Une salle lui est consacrée.

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    MARITIME MUSEUM I. Portugal Oceanic Power.

    by breughel Updated Mar 16, 2013

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    Fregate model.
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    The Museu de Marinha is located in Belem in the north and west wings of the Jeronimos monastery. The collection began during the 18th century with models of several ships of the Royal Fleet. The present Maritime museum was inaugurated in 1962.
    Its permanent display comprises about 2.500 items. These include magnificent collections of ship models covering every era from the 15th and 16th-century voyages of discovery to modern super-tankers.
    After two visits I can say that this is one of the most important European and probably world maritime museums.

    There are a large number of themed rooms of which the most interesting are:
    -The ship building room recalls the history of the Lisbon Naval Arsenal, with models of shipyards and hulls under construction.
    -The Discoveries room explains a glorious emblematic period of the history of Portugal. This small country provided major contributions to the birth of the modern world by its maritime discoveries.
    -18th Century Room. Portugal, an oceanic power, developed a strategy of building large fleets to ensure its sovereignty at sea.
    -19th and 20th Century Room shows the continuation of the previous maritime strategy and tells the story of the school-ship “Sagres” an itinerant embassy of Portugal.

    The Museu de Marinha is open:
    From 10 to 17 h (1/10 - 30/04)
    From 10 to 18 h (1/05 - 30/09)
    Closed: Mondays and National Holidays
    Price (2013): 5 €, 6/18 years old, students & over 65 old 2,50 €.
    Lisboa Card 3,0 €
    Free: less than 6 years, Sundays between 10.00 and 14.00 h and 20/05.

    Photos and films allowed without flash or tripod.

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    Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

    by a2lopes Written Mar 30, 2009

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    Calouste Gulbenkian statue
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    Situated in beautiful grounds, this museum became the new home for the art collection of Armenian Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkain, a multimillionaire (he became wealthy through his petroleum business) who lived in Lisbon his last years, and offered to the city a rich legacy of works of art. His gift was an act of gratitude for the hospitable asylum granted him during World War II (he lived in Lisbon from 1942 until he died in 1955). He was an art connoisseur who, among others, bought many works from the Hermitage in S. Petersburg (Leningrad at that time) and later he also became a Maecenas creating the Gulbenkain Foundation which is today one of the richest and most active centers in Portugal in favor of the arts, sciences, and social initiatives.

    This treasure house of art, covering almost every significant epoch, benefited greatly from a major revamp at the start of the new millennium. The 6000 piece collection is split into two sections. One part is Egyptian (alabaster vases, heads, figurines, statues, mummies, etc.), Roman (statues, coins, coffins, etc.), Greek (many statues), Turkish (beautiful tiles), Persian (splendid carpets), Armenian (precious illuminated manuscripts), China and Japan (porcelains, lacquer and jade figurines) and other Asian and Islamic art pieces. The other part is European art which includes the works by famous artists, such as Rembrandt, Monet, Ghirlandaio, Degas, Van Dyck, Turner, etc. In addition to paintings, there are sculptures (Rodin statuettes are a must), furniture, and coins from all over the world. Additionally, it houses one of the largest René Lalique jewels collection in the world, as Lalique was Gulbenkain’s friend.
    The sequence continues with the foundation's Centro de Arte Moderna, which is part of the same complex and houses Modern Art both as permanent and temporary collections. On the permanent collection you will see the most important and representative collection of Portuguese painters from the 20th C., including Amadeo Souza Cardoso, Almada Negreiros and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva.
    Both buildings house cafeterias where you can experience very tasteful food which I strongly recommend -I go there often and even we’ve made a vtmeeting there.

    Moreover, the complex includes a well equipped library and possesses the best set of auditoriums in town for classic music and ballet (classic and new) performances, and has a very extensive program throughout the all year. It houses also big international conferences and exhibitions.
    On the outside, the complex has one of the most pleasant gardens in town. As many Lisbonners, I come here quite often all year round because it’s very agreeable to spend some time by the lake reading or just to relax my feet. During the summer it’s also very nice listen the summer concerts and performances on the gardens (external auditorium). Always book Jazz summer concerts’ season.

    The museum/gardens are served by several city buses and São Sebastião metro station (blue line).

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    Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Tile Museum)

    by a2lopes Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    tiles
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    Azulejo is the name we give to glazed ceramic tiles, and are a noble expressions and a very important element in the Portuguese decorative arts. Actually this is the kind of art that you will see disseminate throughout the streets of Lisbon, and the entire country -inside and outside churches, palaces, ordinary houses and even train stations or subway stations. They constitute a major aspect of Portuguese architecture as they are applied on walls, floors and even ceilings. Moreover, they are not only used as an ornamental art form, but also had a specific functional capacity like temperature control at homes.

    Nevertheless, to fully understand the evolution of the tiles, either as decorative art and as element of building covering, and the craftsmanship that goes into making them, this museum is definitely the place to visit.
    Its collection is the only of its kind in the world, and contains a splendid array of tiles from as early as the 15th century. Displays range from individual glazed tiles to elaborate pictorial panels. Along with the azulejos there are displays on the techniques used to make them. The name originates from the arab, al zulej (tile or tiled floor), and you will see how complex was the evolution of the tile making from the Moorish production to modern industry.

    The five centuries of decorative ceramic tiles, tracing the history and production of the art form are housed in the monastic buildings of the Madre de Deus (Mother of God) Convent (built in 1509), which after renovation following the 1755 earthquake had its interior turned into one of the most magnificent in the city.
    The highlight of the museum is a blue and white composition (on the cloister) of approx. 1300 tiles, 30m in length, of Lisbon's Panorama, a detailed study of the cityscape and waterfront, made in 1738 (prior to the 1755 earthquake), and reputedly the country's longest tile piece.

    The richly furnished convent church contains some sights of its own. The splendor and opulence of the chapel dedicated to St. Anthony and the chapter house is particularly impressive. Noteworthy amid the rich decoration are panels in the ceiling with gilt frames set with paintings, including portraits of King João III and his queen, Catherine of Austria. Several other glorious paintings in the church depict the life of saints, and filling the main vault are scenes from the Life of the Virgin. This is a place I come from time to time to listen classic music concerts.

    Don’t leave without visiting the café-snack bar both to admire the tiles and taste the yummy cookies, and the gift shop that sells tile reproductions -a very good souvenir from your Lisbon’s visit.

    Despite its somewhat out-of-the-way location this delightful museum is well worth a visit. Although it is best reached by taxi, the place is served with some regular city buses

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    Musée Gulbenkian.

    by breughel Updated Apr 9, 2011

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    Chine - porcelaines.
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    This long tip was written in French and separately in English at a time where VT limited the number of characters.

    L'amateur d'art se doit visiter ce musée dont les collections furent constituées par Calouste Gulbenkian, arménien, investisseur dans le pétrole dont il tira sa richesse. Ce fut un collectionneur d'un goût très sur qui légua sa fortune et sa collection à l'état portugais après s'être établi à Lisbonne de 1942 à 1955.

    C'est un musée multiple en ce sens qu'il présente aussi bien des antiquités égyptiennes que des arts décoratifs. Environ 1000 pièces sur les 6000 que comprend la collection sont exposées dans un cadre très agréable.
    Le musée se caractérise par sa diversité: art égyptien, gréco-romain, mésopotamien, islamique, arménien, d'extrême orient avec une magnifique collection de porcelaines, une belle collection de peintures européennes comprenant la plupart des grands maîtres depuis les primitifs flamands aux impressionnistes.
    L'art oriental islamique de Perse, Turquie, Syrie est fortement mis en évidence notamment avec de très belles tapisseries.
    Il y a encore des sculptures dont Rodin, des livres anciens avec enluminures et une collection d'art décoratif européen dont des tapisseries françaises.

    Le plus époustouflant est la salle entière consacrée aux bijoux du français René Lalique.
    J'oserais dire que cette seule salle justifie déjà la visite du Musée Gulbenkian.

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    Fado's Museum

    by solopes Updated Sep 21, 2012

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    Confraria do Fado - Lisbon - Portugal
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    Right at the "main door" of Alfama you have Fado Museum.

    It deserves your visit, and, with luck, it is a good opportunity for listening to fado outside the commercial circuit.

    My pictures were taken in the museum, during a recent homage to the fado's fraternity (Confraria do Fado) chairman - my friend Abel Coutinho

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    Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

    by a2lopes Updated Apr 4, 2009

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    National Museum of Ancient Art
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    The National Museum of Ancient Art was founded in 1884 under the name of Museu Nacional de Belas-Artes e Arqueologia (National Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology) and was the first large public museum dedicated to the arts to be created in Portugal.
    Housed in the former 17th-century palace of the Counts of Alvor, in Ruas das Janelas Verdes, the museum was considerably enlarged in 1940 with an added edifice that was built on the site of the old Carmelite Convent of Santo Alberto of which there remains the baroque church, now an integral part of the visit to the museum. Later building campaigns allowed for fresh enlargements of the exhibition space and support services for visitors.

    The historical representativeness of the museum’s collections results first of all from the provenance of most of its 17th C. pieces, namely the huge collection of artistic treasures originating from the monasteries and convents that were suppressed in 1834 with the subsequent nationalization of the Church’s property. Moreover, the museum houses a large collection of furniture and treasures of the country’s cathedrals, Episcopal palaces and Royal palaces after the Proclamation of the Republic in 1910.

    Together with Gulbenkian Museum it is the most important collection of art in Lisbon. The convent's chapel was preserved and is a good example of the integration of ornamental arts, with gilded carved wood, glazed tiles, and sculpture of the 17th and 18th C. The museum’s vast collection (currently totaling more than 44000 works of art) is the nation’s most representative group of pieces from its movable artistic heritage, covering the period from the Middle Ages to the early 19th C.

    Masterpieces of painting from 14th C. to the 20th C. are on exhibit here, with some of the finest examples of European and Portuguese Art. First among them is the famous polyptych from St. Vincent's monastery attributed to the Portuguese painter of Flemish influence Nuno Gonçalves (1460-70). In this work, the only known example of Nuno Gonçalves that survived to the present day, 60 portraits of important Portuguese people are shown paying homage to Lisbon’s patron saint, S. Vincent. The painting is a true kaleidoscope of outstanding documentary interest and in a vast and partially mysterious pictorial tale (there is much debate among Portuguese historians regarding this painting).

    Other outstanding works includes one of the fantastic pictorial narrations of Hieronymus Bosch's (one of my preferred painter of this period) -the triptych called “The Temptation of St. Anthony”. There are also important canvases by Piero della Francesca (my personal “perspective’s hero”), Holbein, Van Dyck, Hans Memling's, Albrecht Dürer's (a great St. Jerome), Velázquez, Poussin, Courbet, and a noteworthy “The 12 Apostles”, by Zurbarán. Unfortunately there is no Vermeer which for my taste is the master of composition :-( Paintings from the 15th through the 19th centuries trace the development of Portuguese art.

    The museum also exhibits a remarkable collection of gold and silversmiths' works, both Portuguese and foreign. Among these is the cross from Alcobaça and the monstrance of Belém, constructed with the first gold brought from India by Vasco da Gama possibly by our first play-righter, Gil Vicente.
    From Europe, Flemish tapestries, and a rich assemblage of church vestments, Italian polychrome ceramics, and sculptures are also on display.

    Taken from far distant lands and cultures, due to the Portuguese expansion overseas, we can see collections originally from Benin and other former Portuguese colonies (chests, boxes and tusks some with inlaid mother of pearl), India (wood and ivory artifacts and furniture), Persia (tapestry), China (many beautiful porcelain artifacts), and Japan, among others. The section on ancient Japan represented, among other things, by the splendid screens of Namban art (southern Japan, influenced by the Portuguese who landed there on the 16th C.) depict the Portuguese relationship with Japan in the 17th century, and is unique in Europe.

    You have also a quiet garden and terrace with cafeteria and buffet service from where you can overlook Tejo river just across the street. It is a very pleasant place to rest for a while.

    Tues 2-6pm; Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
    Admission 3€ , 1.50€ students, free for children under 14. Admission free until 2pm on Sundays and Public Holydays.

    Served with trams: 15 or 18 and city buses: 60, 713, 727 (nearby 28, 714, 732)

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    Museu Nacional dos Coches -National Coaches Museum

    by a2lopes Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Sal��o Nobre
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    Seattle has the Museum of Flight, Madrid (Arranjuez) has the Royal Boat Building Museum, York has the National Railway Museum, and Lisbon has its Coaches and Carriages Museum.

    Lisbon's most visited museum and one of Lisbon's most visited sights, the National Coaches Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches) has the largest and most valuable collection of historic royal and other horse-drawn vehicles in the world.
    It is housed in a richly decorated 18th C. Royal Riding School that is part of Belém Palace, formerly a Royal Palace which is now the official residence of the President of Portugal.
    After King João V command (1726) the Riding School was built in 1787 by the Italian architect Giacomo Azzolini and has a beautiful Salão Nobre (Noble Salon), which has fine decoration and illustrate the ostentation and incredible wealth of the old Portuguese elite. The Salon has an upper level from where the Royal family watched the equestrian exhibitions. The 1944 extension was organized by Valmor award prize winner architect Raul Lino. The museum has now moved back to Belém after being temporarily transferred to the Parque das Nações, the former Expo 98 site, near Gare do Oriente station, to allow roof repairs to be completed. Nevertheless, next year is supposed to change to a more definite location in Avenida da Índia (works on progress in a pavilion).

    The Museum was initiated by Queen Amélia and Colonel Alfredo d'Albuquerque with a collection of 29 former royal coaches and ceremonial carriages. These coaches dating from the 17th-19th C. certainly form the most extensive and valuable collection of its type and is well worth seeing. The museum opened in 1905 as the Museu dos Coches Reais (Museum of Royal Coaches), acquiring its new name after the 1910 Revolution had overthrown the monarchy. After the Monarchy was overthrown all the carriages belonging to the royal family and noble families were addressed to the collection which increased its number to a point that some of the carriages are now in the Ducal Palace in Vila Viçosa.
    The main display is in the Salão Nobre, which houses, amongst many other, three carriages of King João V. However, the oldest carriage is one from the 17th C., in which Philipp II of Portugal (Philip III of Spain) entered Lisbon at the time of the Spanish domination of Portugal. Simply decorated externally, the interior is richly embellished.

    Included among the exhibits are various presents from popes and foreign princes as well as a wedding present from Ludwig XIV; some of the coaches were even driven from Rome or Austria to Lisbon.
    Pompous baroque coaches, including some coaches built in the early 18th C. are without doubt the most valuable. Each coach is more magnificent than the other, showing how coach-makers went to extraordinary lengths to make their vehicles stand out. One of the most outstanding has gilded figures on the tailgate showing Lisbon crowned by Fame and Abundance and a dragon trampling the Muslim crescent.
    Another one, used in an embassy to France's Louis XIV, depicts cherubs with bat's wings. Yet another splendid example was built in 1716 for Portugal's ambassador to Pope Clement XI, decorated with allegorical scenes representing Portuguese military and maritime triumphs.
    Other examples belonged to several European royal families, from Spain to England, include a 19th C. coach built in London last used by Queen Elizabeth II when she first came to Portugal in 1957.
    Also on show are two 18th C. processional coaches and there is an extension containing carriages of lesser grandeur and other related items, such as sedan chairs, which had to be carried by men or by mules.

    The museum features also a collection of harnesses, uniforms and costumes, and a specialized library on coaches and methods of transportation. On show upstairs in the gallery there is also a collection of portraits of the House of Bragança (last dynasty of Portuguese Kings and Queens).
    In contrast to the splendor of the coach museum there is a collection of model cars upstairs at the exit, a gift of José Pinheiro da Costa in 1986. On view in the second room is a forerunner of the first Lisbon taxi cab, a small coach colored green and black just like the current taxis - although in reverse order.

    The site is situated at the back of the Praça Afonso de Albuquerque and is easily reached by train, city buses (714, 727, 28, 729, 751) or alighting at the Belém stop of the number 15 tram route from central Lisbon.

    Open from 10am-6pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
    Adults 3 euro, students, pensioners, teachers 1.50 euro, free entrance with the Lisboa Card tourist pass

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    Monument to the Discoveries

    by jumpingnorman Updated Feb 12, 2013

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    We tried several times to get this jumping shot
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    I first saw the Monument to the Discoveries on the Travel Channel when Samantha Brown went on it --- so I decided I wanted to go there myself – and also get a jumping picture!
    Sure enough, we easily found this monument that was built in 1940 for the Portuguese World Exhibition. It was getting late, and we had to make a decision whether we were going up this monument or the nearby Tower of Belem. We chose to climb up this wonderful piece of Portuguese history.
    And for just 2.50 Euros, you get to go inside and there is a guard at the elevator who was nice and smiling at us, and who later ran up to us when my sister fell and the metal stand outside the little film theatre went on the ground with a loud bang – and with my sister’s scream, lol….so be careful as you walk around the lobby of this monument!
    There is an elevator – tiny one which fit 6-8 people I think – and we went to the highest level which gave us a nice view of the city. It is actually just a small space, but enjoyable to be up this well=known monument and just to be able to say, I went up there!” hehehe…
    I thought we could walk around the statues themselves and we went back to the elevator to look for the entrance, but we did not find any such access…instead, we just saw another level for the toilets I think and some brochures.
    Don’t forget to get a glimpse of the WIND ROSE at the access area, which is a gift from South Africa which is made of marble and 50 meters in diameter with designs which marks the voyages of the Portuguese on the world map. Remember that the Portuguese did “discover” the Cape of Good Hope in 1488.
    The brochure given by the monument will point out the people immortalized by the specific statues which include Portuguese notables from painters, navigators like Vasco de Gama, sea captains, princes and even one designated as a traveler (Pedro Da Cuvilha)! Was the latter a Virtual Tourist member? Hehehe…
    We just took the taxi going to this monument which from our hotel was about 5 Euros – most hotels within Lisboa are 4-6 Euros away. But by bus, you can take Nos 27, 28, 29, 43, and 49. Tram no 15 passes by, and the train station nearest is of course, Belem. Car parking around the area is free.
    Opening Times
    Tuesday to Sunday
    May to September 10 AM -7 PM
    October to April 10 AM - 6 PM
    Last admission 30 minutes before
    Closed Jan 1, May 1 and Christmas Day

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    Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II

    by rsilva Updated May 27, 2005

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    The D. Maria II Theater can be found on one end of the Rossio square and you really can't miss it.

    Built 1843-1846, ordered by King D. Fernando II, it was named after his wife. This neoclassical building opened in 1846 and a decree stated that it was to be run by a society of artists and that has been the case ever since (except for a 15 year period from 1853-1868 when it was run by the state).

    Plays (almost exclusively in Portuguese) start in the Autumn and go on until Spring, so you might just want to admire the building.

    Metro: Rossio. Bus: 21, 31, 36, or 41

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    Torre de Belem (Tower of Belem)

    by jumpingnorman Written Sep 16, 2009

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    Tower of Belem, Lisbon, Portugal
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    Unfortunately, the door closed right in front of us when we reached the Torre de Belem! Bummer! We walked as fast as we could from going up the Monument to the Discoveries…and it does take about 15 minutes of fast walking to reach the tower from the Discoveries monument. And alas, they only accept people in at 430 PM (they are open 10 AM to 5PM daily except on Mondays and public holidays)

    But do not fret because even if you do not go up (I think about 2-3 Euro entrance), you still can take pictures just outside the tower itself. The architecture can still be appreciated, as this is considered a military masterpiece in the Manueline style by the 16th century architect Francisco Arruda. And this one building has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage building.

    We were there one of the viewpoints we saw after we rode a funicular in Lisboa, and in the distance, my sister and I saw a castle! Let’s go there! So, we did not hesitate to just grab a taxi to bring us to what is known as the St. George’s Castle which, due to its high location, provides an amazing panoramic view of the city.
    Our cab driver was so entertaining and he even brought us up straight to the gate of the castle, passing through extremely small curvy roads, cobblestone if I remember right and it was all for just 5 Euros I believe – I think we just gave him seven or eight because he was such fun.

    The ticket office is few steps down from the castle gate – it is a separate little building and I think I just paid 5 Euros for the entrance if I am not mistaken. But whatever it was, it was worth is because the castle grounds were wonderful to walk around in. There are several towers and small walkways and places you climb up to – but be very careful if you have kids because they are high drops! It is also easy to get lost among the maze-like turret but just follow the crowds and they will hopefully lead you to the exit. So, if you’re in a rush, just remember places you passed so you don’t get lost going back to the entrance.

    0900-1800 Closed Jan 1, May 1 and Dec 25

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