- By Kevin
- On Nov 28, 2017
- Travel Tips
Museumes in Lisben right for the family vacations with kids. It is a city that effortlessly blends traditional heritage, with striking modernism and progressive thinking.
Museu do Oriente: Showcasing Portugal's Presence in Asia and the Far East
West of the city center, near Alcântara, and housing a fabulous collection of oriental art built up by the influential Fundação Oriente, this engaging cultural facility chronicles Portugal's presence in Asia and the Far East. The permanent exhibition is set over two levels and grouped around several core areas of oriental art, particularly Chinese. Displayed under subdued lighting, but with individual pieces showcased under pinpoint spotlight, the collection takes you on an incredible journey that traces the cultural and trade links forged between Portugal and India, Japan, Myanmar, Macau, and Timor. An enormous 17th-century teak door from India embellished with iron and bronze greets you on the First Floor, and opens the way into a hall that dazzles with artifacts such as the delicate Namban screen depicting Portuguese mariners disembarking from the Kurofune to be met by bemused Japanese locals.
Macau, a former Portuguese colony, is well represented by eye-catching pieces like the suspended boat-shaped cradle (c.1877) made from carved, lacquered, and golden oriental wood, cane, and iron. Elsewhere, an impressive display of Chinese Ming and Qing-dynasty terracotta figurines is placed near a set of forbidding 17th-century Samurai chainmail armor. But make a point of seeking out smaller pieces, items like the quirky collection of Chinese snuff boxes and the silver alloy bracelets from Timor. The Second Floor houses the extensive Kwok Collection comprising more than 13,000 examples of figures and mythological beings cut from cowhide and parchment and used by puppeteers in shadow theaters from Turkey to Thailand.
The Orient Museum will absorb a couple of hours of your attention, but if you time a visit for mid-morning, you can pause for lunch in the 5th floor restaurant and relive the experience.
Address: Avenida Brasília, Doca de Alcântara, Lisbon
Museu Nacional do Azulejo: Dedicated to the art of Decorative Tilework