Faro Archaeological Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Faro Archaeological Museum

Faro, Algarve, Portugal

Faro Archaeological Museum has a collection of artefacts including prehistoric, Roman, Moorish and medieval pieces.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Faro Archaeological Museum

Faro Archaeological Museum, also known as the Municipal Museum or Museu Municipal de Faro, has a collection of artefacts ranging from the prehistoric to the medieval including the Moorish.

This museum is located in the cloisters of Nossa Senhora da Assuncao (Or Lady of the Assumption), a 16th century convent.

Faro Archaeological Museum history

Faro Archaeological Museum was the second museum to be created in the Algarve. In 1894, on the 500th anniversary of the birth of Infante Dom Henrique (Henry the Navigator), the institution was inaugurated as the Museum Archeologico Lapidar Infante D. Henrique dedicated to the hero of Sagres.

In 1912 the museum’s collection was transferred to the Church of the Old Convent of “Santo António dos Capuchos” where it remained until 1969 when the move to the museum’s current site began.

The museum has a significant archaeological collection, with artefacts from pre-historical, roman and medieval periods. Key objects from the Roman period include a mosaic from the 2nd/3rd centuries, busts of Emperor Hadrian and Agrippina and a collection of epigraphs of Ossonoba.

The Museum has been a member of the Portuguese Museum Network since 2002 and was awarded the prize for the best Portuguese Museum in the triennial 2003 and 2005 by the Portuguese Association of Museology.

Faro Archaeological Museum today

Most of the collection at the Faro Archaeological Museum is Roman and includes tombstones, mosaics and other pieces found in the region. In addition to these exhibits, Faro Archaeological Museum also has 17th and 18th century Italian paintings, mostly of a religious nature.

Most of the exhibits are of Roman artefacts, but there are also collections from pre-historic, Moorish and medieval periods, including a gallery of religious artworks and some 20th century paintings by local artist Carlos Porfirio, whose works depict scenes from local legends.

A highlight of the collection is the outstanding mosaic of sea-god Oceanus, which was excavated from a site close to the city’s railway station in 1976. There are also busts of Emperor Hadrian and Agrippina.

In a prominent position at the entrance to the museum is a statue of Afonso III, who was king of Portugal in 13th century.  Also outside the museum is a statue of Constantino Cumano an Italian-born doctor and political activist who lived for some time in Faro and specialised in the treatment of syphilis, a disease that was rampant throughout Europe in the 19th century.

Faro Archeological Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and entry costs €2.

Getting to Faro Archaeological Museum

The museum is located in the Old Town. Faro train station is nearby and the nearest bus stop is Faro City Hall.

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