Located on the banks of the Tagus River, it offers an exciting journey through centuries of maritime exploits and culture.
Established in 1721, the museum was originally founded as part of the Royal Academy to teach navigation and astronomy. It has since become one of Europe’s oldest museums dedicated to maritime exploration and its legacy. The museum houses more than 10,000 objects from all over the world that have been collected by Portuguese navigators during their travels across oceans and seas throughout time. From ancient maps to ship models, astrolabes, and armaments used by sailors at sea, visitors can explore a range of artifacts from different eras related to Portugal’s rich naval history.
One highlight is an impressive collection of scale model ships dating back to 15th century caravels which were used by Vasco da Gama during his discoveries around Africa into India; replicas made famous by painters such as Velasquez or Zurbaran that are now displayed alongside other items like globes or compasses used onboard these vessels during their voyages across unknown lands; plus documents related with trade routes between East Indies colonies or even paintings depicting battles at sea against English fleets during Napoleonic Wars era (1803-1815).
The Marine Museum also includes interactive exhibitions where visitors can learn about how navigation works using sextants or chronometers while admiring several full size boats including some old fishing vessels typical from Portuguese coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean; plus a wide variety of marine life specimens kept inside big tanks located outside the main building for everyone’s enjoyment.