Lisbon Military Museum

The Military Museum just might be Lisbon’s best-kept secret. Although it is the oldest museum in the city (dating back to 1842), it currently gets few visitors. It might be the subject matter or because the museum doesn’t have huge banners guiding you to the entrance. Despite the lack of marketing, the Lisbon Military Museum is a treasure to behold as soon as you step into the first room. Let’s take a look at the history behind the museum, the exhibits in display, and what you can expect from visiting. 

History

Lisbon’s Military Museum is housed in a grand building that formerly served as the Royal Arsenal. The museum began to be organized in 1842 for the purpose of storing and conserving war material. From 1851 to 1926, by royal decree of D. Maria II, it was renamed the Artillery Museum before acquiring its current name.

The museum has continued to expand its rooms and space for exhibition throughout the 20th century. In 1998, a space in the cellars opened up for cultural events and temporary exhibitions. Here, you can find the massive car that carried the columns of Rua Augusta Arch, one of Lisbon’s most famous structures.

Photo by Becky Gillespie

Exhibits

The Military Museum plays host to one of the largest collections of bronze artillery pieces in the world. Additional collections are spread over 33 different rooms, which are architectural treasures in themselves, designed in a baroque style. Many rooms are named after famous Portuguese explorers including Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama.   

The first room on the museum route sets the stage for what is to come. The massive cannons and large wall murals showcase Portugal’s maritime discoveries and remind visitors of the country’s influential past. The museum also displays ancient weapons from around the world in addition to a memorable collection of soldiers in uniforms across the decades sculpted by artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. Be sure to check out one of the museum’s prized possessions: Vasco da Gama’s two-handed sword, standing as tall as a man.

Photo by Becky Gillespie

As you walk from room to room, you will notice that, unfortunately, almost everything is written only in Portuguese. Perhaps, this is another reason that the museum doesn’t get too many visitors. However, the impressive array of artifacts, including rare firearms, full suits of armor, and intricate battlefield maps, more than makeup for the language barrier. It will also quickly become evident that the building itself is worth the price of admission.

Photo by Becky Gillespie

How to Get to the Military Museum

The Lisbon Military Museum is in the square opposite Santa Apolónia Station, which is the last stop on the Lisbon Metro’s Blue Line.

R. Museu da Artilharia 51, 1100-366

Buses: #706, #712, #734, #728, #735, #759, #781, #782, #794

Visiting Times & Tickets 

The Lisbon Military Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. It is closed on Mondays, January 1, April 25, May 1, Easter Sunday, June 10, June 13, August 15, October 5, November 1, December 1, December 8, and Christmas. Tickets cost 3 euros and credit cards are not accepted.

To check out more interesting museums in Lisbon, we recommend the Maritime Museum or the National Coach Museum

Stay up to date
Subscribe To Portugal.com's Newsletter

Receive the latest news, travel information, stories, offers and more!

Invalid email address
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Location

Join our FB group Portugal Travel & Living for all things Portugal and news updates

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Follow Us

416FansLike
407FollowersFollow
159FollowersFollow

Most Popular

A Swiftie Fan Hot Spot Has Opened at Colombo Shopping Mall Right Next to the Eras Tour – Lisbon

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour takes over Benfica Stadium (Estádio Luz) for two nights (May 24 and 25) starting tomorrow, but the sports stadium where...

Welcome to Portugal (Taylor Swift’s Version)

We are only 14 days DTTS (Days Til Taylor Swift) here in Portugal, and we can barely contain our excitement. Not only is this...

Time required to get Portuguese citizenship reduced by 12-18 months

Portuguese residents waiting to apply for citizenship can now breathe a huge sigh of relief! The Portuguese Parliament passed significant amendments on March 5th...

Latest Articles