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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Best Museums in Lisbon -Discover The Treasures of The Bygone Eras
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Best Museums in Lisbon -Discover The Treasures of The Bygone Eras

Take a stroll through the treasures of the past when in Lisbon, Portugal. Museums are some of Lisbon's most popular cultural attractions; so, here's a list of the best of them for you to go and explore.

1

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

This museum is an artifact in itself as it is housed within a 17th Century Palace. The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga or the National Museum of Ancient Art is the only to give a truly inclusive view of art in Portugal from the 12th to the early 19th centuries. One of its most prized treasures is Nuno Gonçalves's enigmatic late 15th-century masterpiece, that's called the Panels of St Vincent. Even though its subject is fiercely disputed, many believe that the central figure in the painting shows Dom Fernando, the Infante Santo (holy prince) who died in 1443 in captivity in Fez. The museum also has a collection of Indian furniture, Chinese porcelain, African carvings and Flemish Renaissance paintings. There are some impressive products of the stylistic mix fostered from the 15th- and 16th-century empire and Discoveries, such as Indo-Portuguese cabinets with snarling tigers or buxom women.

2

Museu Nacional dos Coches

What was once a royal riding hall in the 18th-century has now been converted into the Museu Nacional dos Coches or the Coach Museum which is considered to have the world's most valuable and largest collection of horse-drawn coaches - 45 in total. The museum is said to be the most visited museum in Lisbon and you can easily reach it from centrally located hotels like the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa. When visit the Tivoli Hotels & Resorts official site, you will find more options for accommodation close to the museum.
The oldest coach you can see here is the one used by Spanish incomer Philip II in the 17th century. It's quite curiously designed with an exterior that was austere so as not to stoke dislike among his new subjects, but quite luxurious inside.

3

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian

The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is said to be one of the leading fine arts museums in all of Europe. Some of the exhibits date as back as 2000 BC to the early 20th century. Some of the most ancient of artifacts include Greco-Roman jewellery, Egyptian scarabs, and a gigantic 9th century BC Assyrian bas-relief of a warrior made from alabaster.
Many consider that the most outstanding rooms at the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian are the ones containing Oriental and Islamic art such as robes, tiles, carpets, glassware and tapestries that belong to the 16th- and 17th-century Persia, India, Turkey, and Syria. There are spaces dedicated to displaying the pieces of European art including ivory and wood diptychs and medieval manuscripts. There are also quite a lot of Italian Renaissance tapestries and majolica ware and 18th-century French silverware and furniture.

4

Museu do Oriente

The Museu do Oriente or the Museum of the Orient tells the story of Portugal's illustrious past and its relations with Asia. There are impressive works from the time of the maritime Discoveries as well as some unusual and rare pieces, such as the Namban hat in lacquered paper invented in Japan to imitate the sharp hats of Portuguese traders.

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