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Portimão Museum

Museu de Portimao Museu de Portimao
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Museu de Portimão

Portimao’s award-winning museum opened in 2008 and is a good place to come to learn more of what life would have been like for those who lived in the locality throughout the ages.  The site was once a fish canning factory, and the main focus is on the industrial processes once carried out here.  The 1000 square metre main exhibition is divided into three distinct areas:

Origin and Destiny of a Community

This section follows the lives of those living in the Portimao and Alvor regions from Neolithic times right up until the present day.  There are artefacts from the times of Roman and Moorish occupation and implements connected with local industries, such as ship-building, throughout the ages. There is also a section dedicated to Manuel Gomes, a local writer and diplomat who went on to become President of Portugal from 1923-1925.  Information signs are in Portuguese.

Industrial Life and the Challenge of the Sea

Portimao Museum canning factory

Portimao Museum canning factory


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The visitor follows a very life-like recreation of what like would have been like for the many locals who worked in the sardine and mackerel canning factory that once stood here.  A propaganda film made in 1946 gives vivid insight into what life must have been like for the workers.  After watching the film, which is in Portuguese but has English sub-titles, visitors pass from the grisly-named "beheading room" through all stages in the canning process.

From Under the Waters

An old water cistern beneath the museum has images of underwater plant and animal life.

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