The City Museum is located in the 18th century Pimento Palace built by King Joao V for his mistress, the nun Madre Paula. Set up in 1962 as a museum devoted to the history of the city, which is extensively documented, it contains many interesting exhibits, including a large model of the city before the earthquake of 1755 and engravings of Catherine of Braganza departing Lisbon to marry King Charles II of England. This repository speaks eloquently on the history of Lisbon. Dedicated to educating visitors on the rather long history of the city and the country, one can feast their eyes on the remains from eras like the Prehistoric, Roman, Moorish, and Medieval.
Since museums are about ancient and bygone days, the City Museum of Lisbon is fittingly located in the Pimenta Palace, an 18th century building that King Joao V gifted his mistress, near the Campo Grande, which is one of the largest parks in Lisbon. The structure is peaceful, calming and beautiful. It has a nice courtyard with freely roaming peacocks adding to its beauty.
But the highlight of the Museu da Cidade is definitely the large model of Lisbon before the historic 1755 earthquake. Visitors will be able to check out maps, prints, tile design panels depicting scenes, and other items that are categorized as pre and post earthquake items. Another interesting feature is the original painting originally hung in the Commerce Square that dates back to the 17th century. Engravings depicting the Inquisition as well as of the departure of Catherine of Braganza from Lisbon to England, to marry King Charles II, are also very worth appreciating.
Also in the Lisbon’s Museu da Cidade are innovative works related to construction of the first Aqueduct, and many similar projects. One can spend time watching all the exhibits and enjoy the lessons in history that they provide. The City Museum is also home to some great examples of art and these include the striking work of Jose Malhoa, an early 20th century painter. His painting, “Fado”, can’t be missed and is a premier example of Portugal’s artistic heritage.
Though the City museum Lisbon was conceived at the start of the 20th century, it only opened to the public in 1942. It was established with the goal of documenting Lisbon’s history during the various stages of its evolution.