The National Museum of Archaeology

The National Museum of Archaeology


The National Archaeology Museum (Museu Nacional de Arqueologia) is the most important museum of its kind to be found in Portugal.

IN 1893, José Leite de Vasconcelos, who was a famed Portuguese archaeologist at the time, founded the museum. However, it was not until 1903 that the museum found a permanent home, in one of the wings of the impressive Jerónimos Monastery. This building was formerly used as accommodation by the local monks, and was completely refurbished to house the museum. As well as being a major museum in its own right, it is also an importance research centre, and runs multiple archaeological projects each year.

A large pair of Lusitanian Warriors, portrayed in granite, guards the entrance to the museum and helps to set the scene for the historic nature of the museum. Within the museum itself, exhibits are split into two main overall themes. The first of these is the Egyptian theme, and these exhibits are as one may expect, predominately made up of Egyptian antiquities. The second, larger themed area is given over to Portuguese archaeology, with exhibits dating back to the Bronze Age. There is also a smaller collection of Roman mosaics, all of which have been found in Portugal.

Alongside the permanent exhibits in the Egyptian and Portuguese sections, the museum also runs regular temporary exhibitions, across a wide range of themes, both local and international. It is well worth checking the schedule for these exhibitions and planning your visit to the museum accordingly.

The museum itself is also an important research institute and contains a full range of related areas, including laboratories, a library and educational facilities.

Highlights of the National Museum of Archaeology

There are two exhibits presented within the museum which really stand head and shoulders above the others. The first of these is to be found in the treasure room. Here we find a selection of Iron Age torcs. These are simple pieces of neck jewellery, and the museum houses the oldest of these to be found in Portugal, dating back to 3000 BC. The second exhibit of note is the Sarcophagus of Irtieru. An ancient Egyptian artefact decorated with hieroglyphics.

The National Museum of Archaeology for Families

Although the museum does not cater specifically for children, young adults will certainly find many of the exhibits to be of interest. However, families with young children or toddlers may find the museum difficult.

The National Museum of Archaeology Opening Times

The museum is open from Tuesday through to Sunday between the hours of 10am and 6pm. However, some of the exhibits which require the presence of curators or other staff do close for lunch from 12pm to 2pm.

Getting to the National Museum of Archaeology

The National Museum of Archaeology is located at:

Praça do Império. 1400 – 206

The closest station is Belém station on the Cascais line.

Tram number 15 stops almost right outside the museum.

The closest ferry is located at Belém pier.

Busses 714, 727, 28, 751 and 729 stop close to the museum.

Date posted: 29th October, 2018

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