Visit Lisbon's museums at home

Thu 30 Apr 2020

The city's museums are accessible from home. You can visit them all without having to take a ticket.

Nietzsche once said, "we have the art not to die of the truth." The German philosopher was right - let's say we are, now that we live in a sort of Sunday afternoon movie, which we've been meeting for some time. The streets are becoming empty, restaurants are closing, cafés are deserted and the museums and cultural spaces of the city and the world are sheltering themselves in these times of pandemic, closing doors. Despite everything that plagues us, we can continue to feed our minds and inspire ourselves with museum visits from home. Technology allows this, through photographs and virtual reality. Google Art and Culture has launched an initiative with over 500 museums and galleries around the world. You can filter by popularity or location and we show them the best of Lisbon.

Virtual museums in Lisbon

National Museum of Ancient Art

It is the Portuguese museum with more national treasures and reference works. Among painting, sculpture, drawing, goldsmithery, furniture, European decorative arts, Asian and African art, the MNAA's collection has around 40 thousand items from the 12th to the 19th centuries, including, for example, the Panels of St. Vincent by Nuno Gonçalves, or the Temptations of St. Anthony by Jheronymus Bosch.

Access the virtual museum here


Chiado Museum of Contemporary Art

Located in the convent of São Francisco da Cidade, the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado (MNAC) has a permanent exhibition that traverses the history of art in Portugal, a journey from 1850 to the present day. There is also a mandatory stop coffee shop: Spleen.

Access the virtual museum here


National Palace of Ajuda

It has been a national monument since 1910, and stands out as the former royal residence and museum of decorative arts, and also as the headquarters of other Portuguese institutions linked to culture and the stage for protocolary ceremonies. It organizes guided visits and receives exhibitions that invite to a walk through history. Summing up the origins of this palace, it is a case to return to 1755. The Royal Family was in its Quinta de Belém when the great earthquake occurred. Since then, D. José I has refused to live in buildings built "in stone and lime". The solution found was to choose a safe place.

Access the virtual museum here


National Coach Museum

It is a unique collection in the world and breathes better since in 2015 it moved to a new building on Avenida da Índia, a few meters from the old Royal Riding Centre, the first address of the coaches from 1905, where there is still an exhibition centre. Almost since its foundation the need for a bigger space was felt, which only happened more than 100 years later. The first coach to enter the new museum was the Landau do Regicídio, perhaps the most iconic in the collection of gala cars and passenger cars from the 16th to 19th centuries, from the Portuguese Royal House, Church and private collections.

Access the virtual museum here 


National Museum of Ethnology

It is perfect for followers of the history of Portuguese anthropology. It is located in Restelo, above the Belenenses Stadium, and includes a permanent exhibition with seven thematic nuclei. The Museum has objects in all, among donations and collections made by the museum itself.

Access the virtual museum here


National Pantheon

Before being the final home of illustrious Portuguese figures, the Pantheon began to be the Church of Santa Engrácia, a temple ordered built in 1568 by the D. Maria, daughter of King Manuel I. The work took centuries to be completed and it was only in the 1960s that the dome took the form we know today, a work by the engineer Edgar Cardoso, also responsible for the construction of the Arrábida Bridge in Porto. The Pantheon was eventually inaugurated in August 1966 and today houses the cenotaphs (tombs of the absent body) of personalities linked to the Discoveries, such as the Holy Constable Nuno Álvares Pereira, and the tombs of writers and presidents of the Republic.

Access the virtual museum here


Berardo Collection Museum

The Berardo collection is a journey through the main artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries starting with "Tête de Femme", a cubist painting by Pablo Picasso. It includes around 1000 works by more than 500 artists with Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, Fernando Botero, Andreas Gursky and many others.

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National Tile Museum

The tile is the physical proof of the practical sense of the Portuguese who chose this conventionally poor material to decorate interior spaces and buildings. In the Museum, installed in the Convent of Madre de Deus, are represented some of the most significant examples of the national tile, from the fifteenth century until today.

Access the virtual museum here


National Costume Museum

It is forty years since its opening and the costume is still on: it displays historical garments and costume accessories, from the 18th century to the present day, presented to the public through the permanent exhibition and temporary exhibitions. The Costume Museum is housed in the Angeja-Palmela Palace and has the Monteiro-mor Botanical Park right next to it.

Access the virtual museum here


Museum of São Roque

The Museum of São Roque opened to the public for the first time in 1905, next to the Church of São Roque. This church was founded in the second half of the 16th century, it was the first to be part of the Society of Jesus in our country. Its interior shows a great and rich variety of works of art, namely tiles, paintings, sculptures, inlaid marbles, gilded carvings, reliquaries - all belonging to the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa.

Access the virtual museum here


National Museum of Archaeology

It was founded in 1893 by Dr. José Leite de Vasconcelos and its collection, housed in the Jerónimos Monastery, brings together his initial collections, as well as those of Estácio da Veiga. To these were added many others, such as the archaeology collections of the former Portuguese Royal House, or the archaeology collections of the former Museum of Fine Arts. Others arrived here by donation or legacy of collectors and great friends of the museum, such as Bustorff Silva, Luís Bramão, and Samuel Levy.

Access the virtual museum here.


National Museum of Music

The National Museum of Music opened to the public in 1994 at the Alto dos Moinhos subway station. Although the location raises an eyebrow, it is here that there are recitals, conferences, educational visits or temporary exhibitions that give to know the Portuguese musicological, phonographic and organological heritage, in one of the richest instrumental collections in Europe. It is planned to move to the National Palace of Mafra.

Access the virtual museum here


Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

It has a collection of approximately 6,000 pieces, but just over 1,000 are permanently exposed to the public. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, whose doors opened in 1969, is a museum of the foundation with the same name and consists of two independent circuits: one dedicated to Oriental and Classical Art and the other dedicated to European Art.

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Tower of Belém

Considered one of the most expressive monuments in the city of Lisbon, the Torre de Belém began as a defence structure of the bar of the Tagus and is currently an icon of the architecture of the reign of D. Manuel I. Classified in 1983 as World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), it was elected in 2007, one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

Access the virtual museum here


Read the original article here

Photo by Arlindo Camacho / Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

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