Lisboa Story Centre

Discover Lisbon’s history at the Lisboa Story Centre right in the heart of the city. This interactive experience takes visitors on a chronological journey from ancient times to the present through Lisbon’s pivotal moments. Ideal for all ages, the exhibits combine multimedia presentations with historical artifacts, which provide an engaging way to explore Portugal’s capital. Whether you’re a history buff or just curious to learn more about the city, the Lisboa Story Centre offers a unique insight into Lisbon’s rich cultural heritage.

History

The Lisboa Story Centre, located in the historic Praça do Comércio, opened its doors in 2012. It features a mix of narration and technology-driven displays that vividly bring to life major events throughout the city’s history including the devastating 1755 earthquake.

This interactive museum is designed to educate visitors about Lisbon’s development from ancient times to the present day. Through storytelling, the centre brings pivotal moments to life such as the Age of Discovery and the reconstruction of the city post-earthquake. It serves as an essential resource for understanding the cultural and architectural evolution of Portugal’s capital.

Exploring Lisbon’s maritime history at the Lisboa Story Centre, Ko Ko, Flickr

Exhibitions

At the Lisboa Story Centre, visitors are invited to explore a range of exhibits that meticulously detail the city’s historical and cultural evolution during a 60-minute audio guide that presents dramatic scenarios and reports at different points in history. The storytelling takes place across six different areas and 17 audio chapters. Throughout the museum, you will encounter the following exhibits:

1. Lisbon: Myths and Realities – This first exhibit covers the earliest history of the city and its geological elements. The river, the earth, the sea, the sky, mythological beginnings, crossroad worlds, and the city walls all have their part to play in the making of Lisbon’s capital.

2. Lisbon: Global City – The second exhibit puts Lisbon on the international stage when it was the fourth largest city in Europe, known for its sophistication and prosperity. Go back in time and learn more about the industries that made Lisbon tick at the time. Meet interesting personalities that help build Lisbon up to its greatest heights before the big fall that no one saw coming.

3. November 1, 1755 – Without a doubt, this exhibit will make the biggest impression as it takes you through the day that Lisbon changed forever. Visitors can experience the impact of the 1755 earthquake through a combination of sound, visual effects, and shaking floors to recreate the terrifying moments of the quake and its aftermath. We have to warn you that the video here is draining and may be quite upsetting for young children.

4. The vision of Pombal – In this exhibit, you will see how Lisbon was remade into the city it is today. Meet the man tasked with the onerous job of rebuilding – the Marquês de Pombal. Learn about the reforms he put in place to change Portuguese society. 

5. Commerce Square: Politics and Pleasure – Delve into the social life in Lisbon and learn more about its politics.

6. Virtual Lisbon – The final exhibit is located on the top floor of the Lisboa Story Centre. Here, you can access a database that illustrates and describes several historical events in Lisbon across three touchscreens. One screen connects to a digital map that reproduces the selected events.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a family-friendly museum to learn about the history of Lisbon, this is a great choice. Those who want a seriously deep dive into Lisbon’s complicated history should try the Aljube Museum or the Lisbon Military Museum.

Visiting Times & Tickets

The museum is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6 pm).  It is closed on December 25 and closes at 5 pm (last entry at 4 pm) on December 31 and January 1. 

Standard tickets cost 7 euros. Special discounts include:

  • Kids until the age of 5 – free
  • Kids from 6 – 15 years – 3.5 euros
  • Students – 5.50 euros
  • Over 65-year-olds – 5.50 euros
  • Families (two adults and three minors) – 18.5 euros

Note: The Lisboa Story Centre is free with your purchase of the Lisboa Card, which includes free public transportation and admission to 51 museums and places of interest.

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