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Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
Type: Art & Culture, Art Museums, Historic Sites, Museums
Portugal's national gallery houses the largest collection of Portuguese 15th- and 16th-century paintings in the country, but this revered museum is also home to a glittering array of European art from... Read More
Portugal's national gallery houses the largest collection of Portuguese 15th- and 16th-century paintings in the country, but this revered museum is also home to a glittering array of European art from the Middle Ages to the late 19th century. It's also known for its rich display of applied art, much of it themed around Portugal's discoveries era and colonial explorations. The museum is suitably housed in a 17th-century palace, which was built over the site of the St Albert Carmelite monastery, destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. Fortunately the chapel survived and is now integrated into the building. You could spend half a day browsing the extensive collection, set over several floors. Must-sees include the stunning Panels of St Vincent, painted around 1470 and attributed to Nuno Gonçalves, and Hieronymus Bosch's disturbing The Temptations of St Anthony.
- Museums: "The museum issues a helpful top ten works of art guide, but look out, too, for less recognised pieces like the beautiful Reliquary Casket of Saint Francis Xavier from Goa, worked from pierced silver and gilt in 1686."
- Best for Museums Because: The museum combines the largest collection of Portuguese paintings in the country with European, Oriental and African art, plus an absorbing display of applied arts.