The Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum) has long been a favorite of visitors to Lisbon. It houses one of the world’s most important collections of historic coaches and carriages, including the oldest coach in the museum that dates back to the early 17th C. and belonged to King Philip III of Spain. The original museum opened in 1905 in a building that was part of the Belem Palace and was used as the Royal Riding School.
In May 2015, on its 110th anniversary, the new Coach Museum opened across the street in a building that was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. In stark contrast to the ornately decorated 18th C. original building, the new building is a sleek, minimalist building with a concrete framework that has three independent prisms that lets in a great deal of natural light. The expansion of the museum to this new space has allowed them to display more carriages and accessories than was possible before. The original building has remained open and can be visited on its own. It is a permanent annex that showcases a number of ceremonial coaches and will be used for temporary exhibitions.
The new National Coach Museum is located at Avenida da Índia 136, and the original building (the former Royal Riding School) is located at Praça Afonso de Albuquerque. For more information about the museum, click here.
Photo Credit: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa
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