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Lisbon Roman Theatre Museum

Lisbon Roman Theatre Museum



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The Lisbon Roman Theatre Museum (Museu do Teatro Romano) encloses the ancient theatre of Lisbon as well as exhibits and finds from the excavations of city’s first century AD Roman Theatre.

Whilst not very large, the Lisbon Roman Theatre Museum is modern and bright. The main attractions are the remains of the theatre itself as well as the columns and sculptures uncovered at the archaeological site.

Lisbon’s Roman Theatre is thought to have been built during the time of Augustus and to have been rebuilt or renovated under Nero in around 57 AD, in accordance with an inscription found there in the eighteenth century. At its peak it was probably able to hold around 5,000 spectators.

Abandoned in the fourth century AD and covered by the rubble of the 1755 earthquake, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that proper excavations of the Roman Theatre of Lisbon began.


Roman Theater Museum

The Roman Theater Museum and the archeological site which keeps the ruins of the edifice are two of the major proofs of Lisbon’s importance in the age of the Roman Antiquity, nationwide and at continental scale alike. The museum proper was set up in view of preserving and disseminating the essential information on the Roman patrimony by means of state-of-the-art technologies and devices (touch screen devices, multimedia and videos).

Most theories concur the theater is highly likely to have been built under Augustus (1st century BC) and then renovated in the time of Nero (the mid 1st century AD), such as to accommodate some 5,000 spectators. The venue must have been put out of use in the 4th century AD, and the 1755 earthquake threw it into complete oblivion, covering it with rubble. It was no sooner than the 1960s that the archeological excavations brought back to light the ruins of this important historical landmark of Lisbon.

The site proper still contains most of the remains, but the most important traces are kept within the museum: columns, inscriptions, statues. Obviously, the Roman Theater Museum is an ideal sight for tourists who want to get a deeper insight into the early roots of the city of Lisbon and understand its subsequent historical trajectory.


Roman Theatre Museum

The Roman Theatre Museum (in portuguese, Museu do Teatro Romano) opened to the public in the year 2001 with the intention of divulging the Roman Theatre of Felicitas Iulia Olisipo , Roman designation for the city of Lisbon .

This space, one of the centers of the Museu de Lisboa 1 , is divided into four different areas: the permanent exhibition is housed in a building of the 17 th century that faces the Páteo do Aljube 2 and was patrimony of the Cabido da Sé , a consultative body of the dioceses in front of Rua de São Mamede there are two buildings with exhibitions of Roman ruins and the excavation still being undertaken. Finally, between the Rua de São Mamede and the Rua da Saudade one finds the Ruins of the Roman Theatre of Lisbon , dated from the first century before Christ and that possessed between 3.000 and 5.000 seats.

Typical and iconic stages of Roman societies, theatres were at the time important places for manifestation of will on the part of all existing social castes and propaganda to the empire and cult of the emperor's figure.

On the ground floor of the building housing the permanent exhibition exist numerous items that belonged directly to the theatre and among them are shafting and capitals. In the other spaces of the museum are displayed pieces found during the excavations that go back to the 18 th and 19 th centuries, providing further knowledge to the researchers about the purposes of the museum's enclosure along time.

The Ruins of the Roman Theatre of Lisboa are classified as a Building of Public Interest since 1967 .


Roman Theatre Museum - Lisbon/ Museu do Teatro Romano

The Roman Theatre Museum is a museum dedicated to the Roman theater in Lisbon, which was built at the time of Emperor Augustus and occupies the southern slope of the hill of the Castle of S. Jorge courtyard next to the Aljube, 5 (Rua Augusto Rosa). The theater, abandoned in the fourth century AD, remained buried until 1798, when the ruins were discovered after the 1755 earthquake. Subject of several archaeological campaigns since 1967, was well recovered some of the benches, the orchestra, the proscenium arch and stage and a large number of decorative elements.

The Museum of the Roman Theatre, the course presents an exhibition area, an archaeological site and the ruins of the theater. In addition to the exposure of materials and evidence gathered, the museum offers multimedia with information about the theater and its history by updating the data on archeology, conservation plans and recovery.

The Roman Theatre of Lisbon and its ruins are a monumental, cultural heritage of Lisbon and the country. This nucleus is a major artistic and material evidence of classical culture and Roman civilization, which gave form and urban dimension to the city since the first century until the mid-fifth century This is a significant monument of our cultural heritage, which must be preserved, restored, enhanced and integrated into contemporary living.

The Roman Theatre Museum is housed in a seventeenth-century property in the area probably one of the oldest entries Theater.

O Museu do Teatro Romano é um espaço museológico consagrado ao teatro romano de Lisboa, que foi construído na época do Imperador Augusto e ocupa a vertente sul da colina do Castelo de S. Jorge junto ao Pátio do Aljube, 5 (à Rua Augusto Rosa). O teatro, abandonado no século IV d.C., permaneceu soterrado até 1798, ano em que as ruínas foram descobertas após o terramoto de 1755. Objecto de várias campanhas arqueológicas desde 1967, foi assim recuperado parte das bancadas, da orquestra, da boca de cena e do palco e grande número de elementos decorativos.

O Museu do Teatro Romano, apresenta no percurso uma área de exposição, um campo arqueológico e as ruínas do Teatro. Para além da exposição de materiais e elementos recolhidos, o Museu disponibiliza suportes multimédia com informação sobre o Teatro e a sua história, actualizando os dados sobre a arqueologia, os planos de conservação e recuperação.

O Teatro Romano de Lisboa e sua ruínas, formam um conjunto monumental, património cultural de Lisboa e do país. Este núcleo é um dos principais testemunhos materiais e artísticos da cultura clássica e da civilização romana, que deram forma e dimensão urbana à cidade desde o século I até meados do século V. Trata-se de um monumento significativo da nossa herança cultural, que deve ser preservado, restaurado, valorizado e integrado na vivência contemporânea.

O Museu do Teatro Romano está instalado num imóvel seiscentista, na área provável de uma das antigas entradas do Teatro.


Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.

Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.


Visiting The Ruins of Lisbon’s Ancient and Medieval Past

Visiting the vibrant and colorful city of Lisbon, on the banks of the river Tagus and the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, what is most showcased is one episode of the city's and country's glorious past: Lisbon as the capital of the Portuguese Empire, a nation of explorers, seafarers and conquerors. However, for those interested, there is much more ancient history to explore among the narrow and steep streets in the capital's oldest surviving neighborhoods.

In fact, Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, tracing its roots to the first Celtic settlements in the region and the establishment of a trading station by the Phoenicians c. 1200 BCE. The city was under Roman control from 205 BCE-409 CE and Moorish rule from the 8th century CE until the first king of Portugal Afonso Henriques I (r. 1147-1185 CE) won control of the city in 1147 CE. Though the city's history in many ways is well documented and the cultural influences of previous rulers are visible, sadly, much of the ancient and medieval city was destroyed during the devastating earthquake of 1755 CE. Ancient and historical monuments and buildings from before the 18th century CE are therefore a lesser part of today's cityscape than the city's rich history would imply. Luckily for history enthusiasts and students, as well as tourists who wish to explore Lisbon's past, there are two sites still (partly) standing: the Castelo de S. Jorge and the ruins of the Santa Maria do Carmo Church. Their outstanding beauty and fascinating history arguably make up for much of what has been lost.

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Castelo de S. Jorge

The Castelo de S. Jorge occupies the most prominent location in all of Lisbon. On top of the highest hilltop, the historical monument is visible from all parts of the town, and when visiting you will get a magnificent view of Lisbon and the Tagus River. The fantastic view is, in fact, the first thought that strikes you as you enter, and it is not hard to understand why, for centuries, every ruling elite of Lisbon wanted this location as their residence. The hilltop contains a rich history, with archaeological finds dating back to as early as the 7th century BCE and there are a lot of different areas to explore. The main sites and monuments to see are the castle itself, the ruins of the Alcáçova Palace — the royal residence of the Portuguese medieval kings — the archaeological site and the museum and permanent exhibition.

As you walk through the beautiful garden and ruins, maybe climbing some of the towers or to enjoy more of the view, you will find the entrance to the museum and permanent exhibitions, also partly located within the ruins of the medieval palace. The exhibition contains archaeological finds from within the castle walls. There are some remains dating from the 7th century BCE, as well as from the Roman period (205 CE - c. 409 CE) and the Visigothic fortification. However, most of the artifacts are from the Moorish period, especially the 11th and 12th century CE. This is the period when the castle was constructed. The hilltop was first fortified by the Romans, and the oldest part of the castle dates to the 6th century CE, but most of the castle you see today was established and constructed by originally North African Moors.

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The Moors ruled much of the Iberian Peninsula from the 8th century CE until they were driven out by the Portuguese and Spanish Reconquista, finally losing their last stronghold in Grenada in 1492 CE. After enjoying the memorable view you will walk towards the main parts of the castle, but first you will pass a tall statue of one of the most important individuals in the castle and Lisbon's history (at least that we know of today): King Afonso Henriques I. King Afonso captured the Moorish fortification in 1147 CE with help from crusaders on their way from northern Europe to Jerusalem.

Next, you will enter the area named the “Romantic Garden”, which is where the medieval residence and palace used to be located until the earthquake of 1755 CE. This area is truly magical and in some ways haunting. Remains of fountains, gates, walls, and doors are still standing entwined in green bushes and trees. It looks like the perfect film set for a romantic drama set in the Middle Ages, and it is not hard to envision princesses, knights, and kings going about their everyday lives plotting dangerous schemes, running away with a secret lover or hosting a magnificent ball.

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After spending some time in the museum, it is time to enter the castle itself. It is only a couple of minutes walk from the romantic garden and museum, and on the way, you are likely to be met by beautiful peacocks who walk freely on the historic property. The castle stands out in the scenery, and the massive brick walls truly look unreachable. This castle was not built as a residence but as a defensive stronghold. The fortification could house the elite rulers of the city if the citadel was under siege, but it was normally used to house military troops. Entering you have to walk up the ramp over the previous moat. Then you will be standing in front of the “Tumbling Tower”, also known as the “Tower of Riches”. The tower used to contain the royal treasure, which consisted of income from taxes and royal rents, as well as The Royal Archives, which included the most important documents in the kingdom. The Royal Archives were stored here and in the palace tower, as well as in other parts of the castle until the earthquake. Moving on you will walk into the courtyard, which is enclosed by thick walls and high towers. There are not many objects to see in the castle itself, but it is nice to walk around the courtyard and climb some of the walls and towers, again envisioning what the site might have looked like while in use by either the Moors or the Portuguese royal elite.

If you walk around the castle keep, the most important part of the castle because it was built to withstand heavy attack, you can climb a few steps up to the cistern tower. From here you can walk on top of the wall away from the main castle and towards the archaeological site. From the walls, you will get a good overview of the archaeological area, where you can study the remains from three different eras. Closest to the wall is remains from the Moorish Quarter, dating from the 11th and 12th century CE. The two most notable houses are known for their beautifully decorated walls - parts of these buildings are therefore protected by a modern construction. The other areas contain finds from the palace of the Counts of Santiago, dating from the 15th-18th century CE, and residential structures dating from the Iron Age (7th-3rd century BCE). You are not free to walk around the archaeological site by yourself, but there are free guided tours in Portuguese, Spanish, and English several times each day.

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On your way to the next monument on the route of visiting Lisbon's ancient and medieval past, you will walk through the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon: Alfama. Take your time walking through the narrow streets and past the charming houses while soaking up the atmosphere of what feels more like a village than a busy capital city. If you have the time, it is also worth visiting Lisbon's Cathedral, a beautiful gothic cathedral whose construction began in the 12th century CE, and the ruins of a Roman amphitheater located right outside the walls of the Castelo de S. Jorge.

The Carmo Ruins & Archaeological Museum

An approximately 30-minute walk from the castle, on the opposite side of the Rossio Valley and in the heart of the historic district of Bairro Alto, you can visit the Carmo Archaeological Museum. The museum is located within the majestic ruins of the Church of Santa Maria do Carmo, the building itself being worth a visit. Historians, archaeologists, and students of architecture alike can enjoy the captivating atmosphere while they learn about medieval Portuguese history, gothic architecture and explore archaeological finds from different time periods and regions of Portugal. The museum even contains a couple of ancient Egyptian and South American mummies.

When entering the Carmo Ruins, you first encounter the enchanting view of what is left of the Santa Maria do Carmo Church. The church was founded in 1389 CE by the Portuguese knight D. Nuno Álvares Pereira (1360-1431 CE). The church and convent were meant to showcase Pereira's temporal power, though it was also connected to his spiritual practice in the Carmelite Order. In fact, the convent may have been built for the Carmelites, a mendicant order tracing its roots to hermits living in the Mount Carmel mountain range in northwestern Israel around 1200 CE. The mountain has since ancient times been known as a “holy mountain” and a “high place” where the Biblical prophet Elija supposedly confronted the false prophets of Baal. Appropriate then that Pereira's church and convent should be built on one of the highest points in Lisbon, almost as a homage to the original Carmelite convent on the Holy Mountain.

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The Church was built in a classic Gothic style, an architectural style flourishing in Europe from the 12th century CE. The Carmo church was considered the most beautiful Gothic building in Lisbon until its destruction in 1755 CE. Some reconstruction was done to the church after the earthquake, but the work was not completed and the ruins were left as they are seen today. The main structures are still standing, arguably made even more beautiful as they are bathed in sunlight and only painted by the blue sky above. As you enter the site, artists are practicing their drawing and painting skills trying to capture the breathtaking view, and other spectators are often seated at the benches situated at the entrance of the central nave. It is nice to sit here for a few minutes (or more) just taking in the view and visualizing what the church looked like before its destruction.

Then, as you walk the central, southern and northern naves, there are many interesting artifacts to be studied and admired, both tombs and other items and sculptures from the church and convent itself, and other archaeological finds from different parts of Portugal. Noteworthy are the tombs of a 16th-century CE knight from the S. Domingos Convent in Santarém and of Princess Catarina (1436-1463 CE), daughter of the second Portuguese king of the house of Aviz, King Duarte (r. 1433-1438 CE). The different artifacts are now taken care of by the Carmo Archaeological Museum, which was installed in the complex after the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists was created in 1863 CE. The main museum is now located in several smaller halls at the front of the central nave.

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The first room you enter is the most spectacular as it is filled with medieval tombs, statues and a beautiful large chandelier hanging from the ceiling, making you feel like you have traveled back in time. Your eyes will first land on the tomb situated in the center of the room, the tomb of King D. Fernando I (r. 1367-1383 CE). Sculptured in bas-relief, the tomb is a magnificent work of art depicting religious and lay figures, groups of fantastic creatures, an alchemist, as well as scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. The different rooms in the museum contain different collections of historic artifacts, including The Prehistoric and Protohistoric Collection The Roman Collection, The Collection of Sculptures of the High Middle Ages and The Islamic Collection.

In the room with The Prehistoric and Protohistoric Collection you can study anthropomorphic idols, vases and stone tools dating from the Paleolithic period (c. 2,500,000-c. 96000 BCE) to the Iron Age (c. 800-c. 50 BCE), while when in the room of The Roman Collection you can admire the famous “Muse Sarcophagus”, found in Valdo dos Frades, dating from the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th century CE. In addition, you have a room dedicated to two of the most important and emblematic influencers of The Archaeological Society, Possidónio da Silva (1806-1896 CE) and Conde de S. Januário (1829-1919 CE), where you will discover an ancient Egyptian mummy from the 3rd-2nd century BCE and two mummies from Peru from the Chancay culture (c.1000-c. 1500 CE), dating from the 16th century CE. This museum has something for everyone!

If you have enough time, (and enter with enough time before the closing, 6 pm from September to June and 7 pm from June to September) you can spend hours immersed in Portuguese history and cultures from different time periods and regions of the world, while surrounded by the beautiful ruins. Afterwards, you can sit down at the charming and peaceful praça in front of the church, and enjoy a late lunch or a pastel de nata, the yummy unofficial national pastry of Portugal.


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Nearby cities and towns

Pena Palace in Sintra Palace of Sintra Sanctuary of Fátima Cabo Espichel Lighthouse Views from the Castle in Palmela Arrábida, Portinho beach Sintra-Cascais Natural Park Roman Temple of Évora Giraldo Square in Évora Heradade do Esporao Winery Elephant in the Lisbon Zoo

Cartagena Roman Theatre Museum

The museum exhibits items discovered in excavations in the area of the Roman Theatre in Cartagena, built between the 5th and 1st centuries BC.

The museum is part of an integral project carried out by architect Rafael Moneo that comprises the restoration of part of the city of Cartagena and its Roman Theatre, which had remained hidden for several centuries. The museum is divided between two buildings and contains archaeological items accompanied by panels explaining the Theatre’s restoration, permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as archive and study rooms. The visit to the museum includes a guided tour of part of the city and inside the Roman Theatre itself. It has capacity for 6,000 people and played an important role at the time of Ancient Rome. It has characteristic raked seating excavated out of the rock, a wealth of decoration and a stage measuring more than 43 metres in length.


National Museum of Natural History and Science

The National Museum of Natural History and Science (Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência) is part of the University of Lisbon. It is next door to the Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa). The two institutions are physically connected.
The museum is Portugal's major natural history museum and dates from 1926.
The collection at the National Museum of Natural History and Science spans over 250 years and covers various fields.


Watch the video: Αρχαίο Θέατρο Μήλου: Το Έργο Ανάδειξης. The Ancient Theatre on Melos: The Enhancement Project (August 2022).