About Lisbon Maritime Museum
The Lisbon Maritime Museum (Museu da Marinha) houses an interesting and extensive collection of historical naval displays and artefacts.
From eighteenth century royal ceremonial barges to an adornment from the ship of famed Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the 17,000 pieces of the Lisbon Maritime Museum offer an insight into Portugal’s impressive maritime history.
History of Lisbon Maritime Museum
Lisbon’s Maritime Museum is dedicated to all aspects of the history of navigation and maritime endeavour in Portugal. It is managed by the Portuguese Navy and is situated in the tourist district of Belem.
It occupies both a part of the neo-Manueline (a style of Portuguese Gothic architecture that incorporates maritime elements) Western wing of the Jeronimos Monastery alongside the National Museum of Archaeology, as well as a modern annex to the North of the monastery.
The history of the museum originates with former monarch King Luis I (1838-1889), who not only had a strong interest in oceanography, but was himself an accomplished navigator. From 1863 and over subsequent decades he began collecting items related to Portugal’s maritime history, with the exhibition opening in 1963.
At present, the museum owns 17,000 items related to Portugal’s maritime history, 2,500 of which are on permanent display, with the rest being rotated throughout the year through a number of fascinating exhibitions that range from Portugal’s involvement with the spice trade to contemporary issues such as the migrant crisis.
Lisbon Maritime Museum Today
Visitors today can enjoy learning about the historical contexts and influences that gave rise to Portugal’s extensive maritime history through the many fascinating items and documents on display.
Exhibits include historical paintings, scale models of ships used in Portugal since the 15th century, historical paintings, a collection of navigation instruments and maps, royal barges, the Portugese Navy’s first aircraft, an FBA Type B flying boat, as well as the Fairey III ‘Santa Cruz’ that crossed the Atlantic in 1923.
The collection concludes with a wonderful display of royal barges.
It is recommended that visitors pay €12 for a combined ticket for access to both the Jeronimos Monastery and the Maritime Museum. There is also a restaurant in the museum where visitors can enjoy a well-priced lunch.
Getting to Lisbon Maritime Museum
The museum is reachable by car in around 20 minutes from the centre of Lisbon. However, it would be better to travel by tram if possible, with trams departing every 15 minutes or so and stopping off at tram stop number 15, which is directly across the street from the museum.
The museum is accessible by foot, and can be reached via a scenic walk along the coastline in under two hours from the centre of Lisbon.