The Museu do Oriente, or Museum of the Orient, stands as a captivating testament to the richness of Asian cultures and their profound influence on the world. This unique museum offers a captivating journey through centuries of history, art, and tradition, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of Asia’s diverse heritage. Let’s take a look at the history of the museum and the exhibitions in display.
The Museu do Oriente was inaugurated in 2008 and has quickly become a cultural beacon in Lisbon. However, its roots trace back to Portugal’s history of exploration and trade routes that connected the West to the East.
Portugal’s Age of Discovery, led by explorers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, forged connections with distant lands, including Asia. This museum is a reflection of the Portuguese Empire’s presence in Asia, notably in territories such as India, Macau, and Timor.
The Museu do Oriente’s exhibitions are a treasure trove of Asian art, history, and spirituality. As you step into its galleries, you’ll find the following remarkable exhibits:
- Asian Art Collection: The museum boasts an extensive collection of Asian art, including exquisite ceramics, intricate textiles, ornate jewelry, and sculptures. Visitors can marvel at the craftsmanship and artistic expressions from countries such as China, Japan, India, and Indonesia.
- Japanese Noh Masks: Delve into the world of Japanese Noh theater with an impressive collection of Noh masks. These beautifully crafted masks represent characters from traditional Japanese dramas and offer insights into Japanese cultural traditions and storytelling.
- Exploring Buddhism: Discover the profound spiritual legacy of Buddhism through sculptures, manuscripts, and ritual objects. Gain a deeper understanding of Buddhist practices, symbolism, and the path to enlightenment.
- Chinese Opera Puppets: Experience the vibrant world of Chinese opera through a stunning display of colorful and intricate opera puppets. These puppets are not only artistic marvels but also a glimpse into the storytelling traditions of Chinese culture.
- Temporary Exhibitions: The Museu do Oriente regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into specific aspects of Asian culture, art, and history.
Visiting Times & Tickets
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm and Friday from 10 am to 8 pm. It is closed on Mondays and December 25 and January 1.
Standard tickets cost 6 euros. Special discounts include:
- Kids until the age of 5 – free
- Kids from 6 – 12 years – 2 euros
- Students – 2.50 euros
- Over 65-year-olds – 3.50 euros
- Families (two adults and three minors) – 14 euros
- Lisbon Half Day Private Tour