Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

The National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon was one of the places that surprised me in recent times.

I had never visited it. After all, the Portuguese capital is full of new modern cultural places, full of hype, so why choose this if there are so many others to see?

Well, only in the National Museum of Ancient Art can we see notable works such as the “Panels of St. Vincent” by Nuno Gonçalves or the “Temptations of St. Anthony” by Bosch.


Panels of St. Vincent – Nuno Gonçalves

The museum holds several exhibitions of painting (Portuguese, European and Illuminated) and sculpture, as well as numerous pieces of gold and silverware, furniture, ceramics, etc.

I passed through the rooms and collections of this museum crushed by the beauty of so many works, with all its details. Wondering what stories might be behind each one or where they might have traveled, the walls that they once hung, before we got there, to that moment.


“Adoração dos Magos” – Domingos Sequeira

The History of Domingos Sequeira’s Painting

Last year the National Museum of Ancient Art gained space in the news for initiating a patronage campaign to acquire Domingos Sequeira’s “Adoração dos Magos”.

The fundraising campaign was open to all those who wanted to contribute and, in a way, become “owner” of a small piece of this work.

The initiative was a success and today we can enter the museum and enjoy the painting, which has remained in the public domain, displayed for anyone who wants to visit it.


Entrance of the NMAA

How to Visit the National Museum of Ancient Art

The National Museum of Ancient Art is located at Rua das Janelas Verdes, in Lisbon, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The normal ticket costs is €6, but there are other options, including tickets that cover admission to other museums in the city.

Tip: If you go on the 1st Sunday of each month, the entry is free!

Definitely a museum to visit if you are passing through Lisbon or, if like me, still never remembered to know the treasures that the building of the end of the 17th century holds.

Have you recently visited a museum that surprised you? Tell the story in the comment box below.

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  • Maddy

    I went to Lisbon and never went here – I’m now gutted! I’m the same as you, I always wonder where the painting was before it arrived in a museum. I also wonder what the painter was thinking, how were they feeling when they painted it.

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman

    Lisbon is sometimes a forgotten city. There was a time when Portugal was second only to Spain in the world. The papal line of demarcation was intended to split the New World between Spain and Portugal after all. Great to hear that Lisbon still maintains its antiquities for the golden age and they are on display in the National Museum.

  • Hugo Cura

    I’m slightly ashamed that I haven’t been to this museum despite visiting pretty much all the other museums in Lisbon. This definitely looks like a great place to visit with some spectacular works of art!

  • Jo

    Gee ancient art? I didn’t even know this museum existed. Look at some of this artwork – its exquisite. The museum looks beautiful, would definitely want to visit it someday!

  • Jenni

    Lots of great art there I am going to Lisbon later this year as a cruise stop and looking for something to do as I have been a few times already so will add this to the list

  • Vicky and Buddy

    I love when a museum ends up surprising you! I felt the same way about the Louvre. I knew I’d like it, just didn’t realize how much! I’d definitely like to visit this museum in Lisbon. I’ll try to go on the first Sunday of the month though! 😉

  • Carol Colborn

    Wow, thanks! We will be going to Portugal next year and will be sure to see this!!!

  • Elaine J Masters

    So refreshing to see this side of Lisbon. I love walking through Museums of National Art as well. Nice to balance, as you allude, with all the other more modern experiences. The silence of the past and craftsmanship is always nourishing when I’m traveling.