Marionette Museum

Marionette Museum

Many visitors to Portugal are unaware of the fact that puppet theatre is something of a national art form. At the time when it was most popular, back in the 18th century, entire plays and opera were written especially for marionette theatres. The Marionette Museum (Museu de Marioneta), also often known by the name Puppet Museum, is Lisbon’s tribute to this national art form.

Lisbon Cultural and Theme Tours

by Maria Eklind

The museum itself contains exhibits which cover everything associated with marionette theatre. This includes the puppets themselves, the stage props and sets used in the puppet shows, and many associated items such as original advertising posters.

The marionette museum is also the home of the internationally famed Marionetas de S. Louren├žo theatre group, who bring ancient puppet there to modern day audiences. The troupe does tour extensively, so if you are hoping to catch one of their productions whilst visiting Lisbon, you will need to make sure you visit the city during the time they are in residence.

Highlights of the Marionette Museum

The major highlight of a visit to the Marionette Museum is of course, the puppets themselves. As one can probably guess, the most room is given over to Portuguese puppets. The history of Portuguese puppet theatre is represented, with exhibits dating back to the origins of the art form, all the way through to present day.

Alongside the Portuguese puppets, the museum also houses smaller collections of marionettes from around the world. There are some splendid African and South East Asian puppets on display, many of which are considered to be the last surviving examples of their type.

The Marionette Museum for Families

This is one of the top family friendly attractions to be found in the City of Lisbon. Children and puppets are simply a natural match, and every age group can enjoy the exhibits which the museum houses. However, there is more than simply static displays on offer to families who visit the museum. Each year, the museum hosts workshops and other classes, many of which are aimed squarely at children and young people. These workshops teach everything from basic puppet making, to actually staging a puppet theatre production. It is worth checking in advance to see if one of these workshops is due to be run whilst you are visiting Lisbon.

The Marionette Museum Opening Times

The museum is open six days a week, from Tuesday through to Sunday. The day is split into two sessions, running in the morning from 10am until 1pm, with the last entrance being allowed at 12:30pm, and in the afternoon from 2pm until 6pm, with the last entrance being allowed at 5:30pm. Additionally, the museum is closed on most major public holidays; check in advance if you intend to visit during one of theses.

Getting to the Marionette Museum

The museum is located at:
Rua da Esperan├ža, 146
1200-660 Lisboa

Local transport, including trams and busses stop close by, it is also clearly indicated on most tourist maps and in every local guide book.

Date posted: 1st November, 2018

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