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National Coach Museum - Lisbon, Portugal
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 38° 41.849 W 009° 11.982
29S E 482634 N 4283225
Quick Description: The National Coach Museum in Lisbon has the largest collection of magnificent royal coaches. It is located in the Belem district of Lisbon.
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Date Posted: 1/26/2014 7:27:25 AM
Waymark Code: WMK0PB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
Views: 25

Long Description:
"The National Coach Museum (Portuguese: Museu Nacional dos Coches) is located in the Belém district of Lisbon, in Portugal. The museum has one of the finest collections of historical carriages in the world, being one of the most visited museums of the city.

The museum is housed in the old Horse Riding Arena of the Belém Palace, formerly a Royal Palace which is now the official residence of the President of Portugal. The Horse Riding Area was built after 1787 following the Neoclassical design of Italian architect Giacomo Azzolini. Several Portuguese artists decorated the interior of the building with paintings and tile (azulejo) panels. The inner arena is 50 m long and 17 m wide, and was used for training horses and for horse riding exhibitions and games, which could be watched from its balconies by the Portuguese royal family.

The museum was created in 1905 by Queen Amélia to house an extensive collection of carriages belonging to the Portuguese royal family and nobility. The collection gives a full picture of the development of carriages from the late 16th through the 19th centuries, with carriages made in Italy, Portugal, France, Spain, Austria and England.

Among its rarest items is a late 16th/early 17th-century travelling coach used by King Philip II of Portugal to come from Spain to Portugal in 1619. There are also several pompous Baroque 18th century carriages decorated with paintings and exuberant gilt woodwork, the most impressive of these being a ceremonial coach given by Pope Clement XI to King John V in 1715, and the two coaches of the Portuguese embassador to Pope Clement XI, built in Rome in 1716.

A section of the museum is located in the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa, in Southern Portugal."

-- Source (visit link)

"The Museu Nacional dos Coches has about 45 coaches and carriages on display from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The majority of these were ceremonial vehicles owned by the Portuguese royal family.

The oldest coach in the museum and one of the oldest in the world is the black and red coach of king Philip II (Philip III of Spain), made in Spain in the early 17th century. It looks rather basic on the outside, with little decoration despite its luxurious red velvet interior. Over time the coaches became status symbols and the decorations on the coaches became more and more elaborate as the royals tried to one-up each other.

Some of the most sumptuous coaches can be found at the back of the central hall, including three coaches made for the ambassador to the pope. The coaches, built in 1716 in Rome, are decorated with large gilded sculpture groups.

Another highlight is the ceremonial coach that was built in the first half of the 18th century for king João V. It is decorated with intricately carved woodwork attributed to sculptors José and Félix de Almeida. Paintings on the side panels show mythical figures. The panels are framed with gilded woodwork decorated with small statues. Even the spokes on the wheels have gilded ornaments.

The coach of Anna I of Austria was built in 1708 on the occasion of her marriage with king João V. It is said to be the first coach decorated with gilded woodwork. The large painting on the rear panel of the coach depicts the crowning of Minerva. Statues on the corners represent Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

The museum has more than just coaches and carriages; there is also a collection of accessories such as coach harnesses, beautiful saddles and even an 18th century war drum. You can also see a pink velvet mantle of Queen Amélia, the founder of the museum."

-- Source (visit link)
Type and Quantity:
About 45 coaches and carriages on display from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The majority of these were ceremonial vehicles owned by the Portuguese royal family.

Opening Hours:
10AM-6PM (Closed Mondays)

Admission Fee: 3 Euros

On-line Documentation: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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denben visited National Coach Museum - Lisbon, Portugal 2/2/2014 denben visited it
BmarcW visited National Coach Museum - Lisbon, Portugal 6/8/2012 BmarcW visited it
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