Maat Museum & Tejo Power Station

Exploring the Premier Museums of Lisbon

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, is a treasure trove of cultural experiences waiting to be discovered. Among the myriad of attractions the city offers, its museums stand out as a testament to its rich history and contemporary art scene. Two museums that particularly caught our attention during our visit were the Maat Museum, also known as the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology, and the historic Tejo Power Station. Both are nestled in the picturesque district of Belém, making them essential stops for any cultural enthusiast.

Vhils at Maat Museum

Melissa and I have always had a keen interest in architecture and art. So, on a bright and sunny day, we decided to delve into the wonders these museums had to offer. Our first stop was the Maat Museum. As we stepped inside, we were immediately captivated by an exhibit titled “Prisma” by the renowned Portuguese graffiti and street artist Alexandre Manuel Dias Farto, popularly known as Vhils. Vhils’ philosophy that destruction can lead to creation is evident in his unique techniques, which range from etching and scratching to more dramatic methods like wall explosions. The Prisma exhibit, although devoid of real explosions, showcased digital representations of Vhils’ iconic works from nine global cities, including Beijing, Cincinnati, and Paris. We were both mesmerized by the exhibit, and it was a tad disappointing to learn that it was a temporary showcase. However, for those keen on Vhils’ work, Lisbon’s streets offer many more opportunities to witness his genius.

Taking a momentary respite from the art, we decided to indulge in some coffee at the museum’s chic cafe. The ambiance was perfect for relaxation, and as we sipped our drinks, we chatted about the exhibits we’d seen. Feeling rejuvenated, we then ventured to the museum’s rooftop terrace. The panoramic views of the river, the iconic April 25th Bridge, and the distant silhouette of Christo Rei were nothing short of breathtaking. It was a serene moment, one where we truly appreciated the beauty of Lisbon from a vantage point not many get to experience.

Tejo Power Station

Our cultural journey continued as we made our way to the neighboring Tejo Power Station. This former thermoelectric power plant, which once powered the Lisbon region, has a storied history. Constructed in 1908, it served the city until 1972. It later transformed into the Electricity Museum in 1990 and, after significant restoration, reopened in 2006 as a public museum. The Tejo Power Station is not just a relic of the past; it played a crucial role during a challenging time in 1972. When opponents of the Salazar regime sabotaged the city’s power lines, causing a massive blackout, the old Tejo Power Station was resurrected to supply electricity to the capital for a week, showcasing its enduring significance.

Walking through the power station, we were in awe of the majestic old machinery, a testament to the engineering marvels of the past. A video presentation further enriched our understanding of the plant’s operations and its pivotal role in Lisbon’s history. The blend of historical significance and architectural beauty made our visit truly unforgettable.

Our day spent exploring the Maat Museum and the Tejo Power Station was filled with awe, learning, and appreciation. For anyone venturing to Lisbon, these two cultural landmarks are a must-visit. Whether you’re passionate about art, intrigued by history, or simply curious, these museums promise an enriching experience that will leave you with lasting memories of Lisbon’s cultural tapestry.

*Disclosure: Hey there! Just a heads-up: some links on this page are affiliate links for products and services I genuinely love and recommend. If you decide to make a purchase or subscribe through them, I’ll earn a small commission for my tea jar 🍵. Don’t worry, I’ll be using that energy to create even more awesome content for you. Thank’s a million for your support! – Michael

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Hi! We’re Melissa, Michael, and Samantha. We’re a nomadic family from the United States, currently living and building our new lives in Lisbon, Portugal. Follow us on our adventures as we explore this beautiful city and all it has to offer.