"Calouste Gulbenkian" Museu Calouste Gulbenkian Tip by J_Antunes

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon: 42 reviews and 93 photos


Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian was born in 1869 in a wealthy armenian family. He studied in London and dedicated his life to oil fields being one of the pioneeirs in this area. In the beginning of the XXst century he became known by Mr 5% because, after an agreement between companies, he achieved this percentage in one of the most important corporations in the world of oil extraction at the time, called Turkish Petroleum. With the money earned he bought an extraordinary collection of art that was his passion.

What does this man of the world has to do with Lisbon? In 1942 he came to the city to visit the french ambassator. What was to be just a short scale on a trip to the US end to be a longer stop due to a illness that affected him. Oblige to stay in the city he fell in love with it and its peace and decided to stay. When he died he decided to left all his art collection and most of his fortune to the country that welcomed him.

A Foundation was created that has sponsered for decades many, many cultural activities and scientific works in Portugal giving money to scholarships and universities.

But what is more visible to the normal tourist is the magnificent museum and gardens that exist near the Praça de Espanha. The museum has a diversified collection, a bit of egyptian, roman, armenian, oriental and chinese art. But also european art, from decoration to books, sculpture (the famous Diana sculpture from Houdon) and paintings (Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, etc...) and a unique group of pieces of Lalique jewelries and glass.

The park is quite nice full of beautiful corners and a lake. There are also spaces for outdoor concerts and expositions throughout the park.

A second museum exists in this complex dedicated to modern art especially portuguese.

The entry to both museums is free on sundays. On the other days you have to pay 4? per museum or ?7. The museums close at monday and are open on the other days from 10h-17h45.

Address: Avenida de Berna 45A
Directions: São Sebastião Subway station or Praça de Espanha. Bus 16,56, 718, 742, 746.
Phone: 21 782 30 00
Website: http://www.gulbenkian.pt

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 26, 2008
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