The story of Portugal's pioneering role in world exploration at sea
The interesting Maritime Museum is one of the most important in Europe,
evoking Portugal's domination of the seas. Its colossal 17,000 items are
installed in the west wing of Jeronimos Monastery, and include model ships
from the Age of Discovery onward. The oldest exhibit is a wooden figure
representing the Archangel Raphael that accompanied Vasco da Gama on his
voyage to India.
Other highlights are two 18th century ceremonial barges (one of them built for Queen Maria I that remained operational for almost two hundred years, transporting famous passengers such as Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Queen Elizabeth II of England), a 19th century royal cabin from the yacht of Queen Amelia, the seaplane "Santa Cruz" that made the first crossing of the south Atlantic in 1922, the world's largest collection of astrolabes, and replicas of 16th century maps showing the world as it was known then.
A 1645 terrestrial globe made by the most famous globe maker of all time, Willem Jansz Blaeu, is also of note, as is the Far East Room and its interesting display of porcelain and Asiatic ships, and 15th century Japanese armor.
Get reduced admission to the museum and ride Lisbon's metro, buses, and trams for FREE with the Lisboa Card.
How to Visit
Monastery - A World Heritage monument; Vasco da Gama's resting place.
Belem Tower - The city's icon; a symbol of the Age of Discovery.
Berardo Museum - World-class collection of modern art.
Discoveries Monument - The world's explorers in stone.
Coaches Museum - The world's largest collection of magnificent royal coaches.
Archaeology Museum - Archaeological finds from over the centuries.
Belem Cultural Center - Modern cultural center with regular exhibitions and events.
Tropical Garden - Beautiful garden with rare plants from around the world.
Belem Palace - The home of Portugal's President.
Memoria Church - Elegant neoclassical church.
Ajuda Palace - An extravagant royal palace.
Ajuda Botanical Garden - Beautiful gardens overlooking the river.
25 de Abril Bridge - Golden Gate's twin sister.
Docas - Attractive dock area with cosmopolitan bars and restaurants.
Monument to Christ - Christ opens His arms to the city.