Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Revealing the Art Gem at Gulbenkian Museum

Located in Lisbon Portugal, museum Calouste Gulbenkian is one of the world’s most prominent private art collections. The museum houses the collection of artwork amassed by the collector Calouste Gulbenkian. The collection has more than 6000 pieces of paintings, jewellery and artwork from ancient Egyptian till the early 20th century. 


Additionally, the various collections in this museum have been divided into sections of Egyptian art, Greco-Roman art, Mesopotamia Art, Eastern Islamic art, Armenian Art, and others. While exploring the museum you will be able to witness paintings by some famous painters such as Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Monet, Degas, Manet, and Turner. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum also houses a collection of jewellery by René Lalique. 

The History and Architecture of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

History of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
  • In April 1957, Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida acquired a part of the Parque de Santa Gertrudes, to construct the Foundation buildings along with a public/private park.
  • Two years later, a trio team of architects, Alberto J. Pessoa, Pedro Cid and Ruy Jervis d'Athouguia won the competition that was held to select an architect for the construction of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Lisbon Portugal
  • The building was constructed to house Calouste Gulbenkian museum artworks consisting of around 6000 artworks collected by Calouste Gulbenkian
  • The responsibility of designing the surrounding park was given to landscaping architects António Viana Barreto and Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles.
  • Francisco Caetano Keil do Amaral joined the team as a consultant, and Frederico Henrique George joined the building construction team.
  • In December 1961, the anterior work of the park started.
  • Next year, the work on the retaining walls of the museum Calouste Gulbenkian and the earthworks began.
  • In 1962, architect Artur Rosa installed a structured panel in the headquarters building.
  • 1967 saw the adjudication of the interior finishing, and the project finally concluded in 1968.
  • The buildings and gardens were inaugurated on 2 October 1969.
  • In September 1970, the 12th International Federation of Landscaping Architects Congress was held on the grounds of the Gulbenkian Foundation.
  • In 1975, museum Calouste Gulbenkian won the Valmor Prize.
Architecture of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The museum Calouste Gulbenkian was designed to showcase the private collection of Calouste Gulbenkian. The foundation buildings are situated in the middle of a 7.5-hectare park with a backdrop of forest and wetland views.

The complex was bordered by the Avenida de Berna in the north, Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar in the west, Centro de Arte Moderna in the south and Rua Marquês de Sá da Bandeira in the east.


The building of the museum and headquarters is a simple modernist complex of horizontal buildings. It has been predominantly made with glass and concrete, with roofs designed as landscaped platforms blending into the garden. The building is T-shaped with each of the T-shaped wings having an entrance. Also, the entrance of the headquarters has the Panel “Começar” by José Almada Negreiros.


Surrounding the foundation buildings is the beautiful Portuguese garden with trees, plants and a lake, celebrating nature. The park also has an open-air auditorium for holding concerts and a Grand Auditorium in the centre of the complex.

Gulbenkian Museum Collection

Explore the Calouste Gulbenkian museum's collections to take a look at around 6000 artworks that have been collected by Calouste Gulbenkian, from around the world. The museum is divided into sections such as Egyptian art, Greco-Roman art, Mesopotamia, Eastern Islamic art, Armenia, and others. 

Egyptian Art

The Egyptian Art in the Gulbenkian Museum collection has various pieces of artworks that document the artistic period of the Egyptian civilisation from the Old Empire to the Roman era. Some of the artworks include the Statuette of Hapi, the Statuette of Duamutef, the Head of a Nubian, and the Statutte of Imsety.

Greco-Roman Art

In the Greco-Roman Art, you will find an amazing collection of medallions and Greek coins. These are part of the treasures that were found in 1902 in Abuquir, Egypt. Some of the other items in this collection include sculptures, jewellery, ceramics, glass and gems.

Mesopotamian Art

The Gulbenkian Museum also has a small collection of Mesopotamian Art, which also includes a stunning Assyrian low relief from the palace of Assumazirpal.

Eastern Islamic art

The Eastern Islamic art section has artistic production from Turkey, Syria, Persia, the Caucasus and India. Most of the items present here belong from the 12th to the 18th century. Some of the items in this collection include a Deep plate from Turkey, an Animal Fighting carpet from Persia, and a Beaker from Syria. 

Armenian Art

This collection consists mainly of beautifully decorated pages from the 16th to 17th centuries. The pages are from manuscripts containing religious texts, particularly the gospels used in church services. It reflects the collector's strong interest in Armenian heritage.

Painting

Art during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries was centered around prominent artists like Rubens and Rembrandt. Moving into the 18th century, the works of Fragonard and Guardi took the spotlight. As we step into the 19th century, painters such as Turner, Manet, Degas, Renoir, and Monet played significant roles in shaping the art scene.

Jewelry Collection of Gulbenkian Museum


The Calouste Gulbenkian museum artworks include a stunning collection of jewellery pieces by eminent jewellery artist, René Lalique. Calouste Gulbenkian, the collector whose collection is displayed in this museum, had a fondness for jewellery and this has led to the museum having a jewellery collection. 


Some of the prominent pieces designed by René Lalique include a Rape of Deianira pendant, a dragonfly-woman brooch, a plaque for choker ´eagles and pine´, and Female Face pendants.


The collection also has a ´chrysanthemum´ pendant and brooch, which is considered one of the best examples of the artist’s detailed work. Apart from jewellery, this section also houses Lalique’s ambiguous motives of nature and intricate details on glass, enamel and other materials.

Know Before You Go Gulbenkian Museum

Essentials Information
How to reach
Audio Guides

Opening Hours:

  • From Wednesday to Monday: 10 am to 6 pm.
  • Last entry is at 5:30 pm.
  • Closed on Tuesdays and also on 1st January, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 24th & 25th December.


Location: Avenida de Berna, 45A, 1067-001 Lisbon; Inside 7.5 hectare garden close to Praça de Espanha


Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Museum Calouste Gulbenkian is during the weekdays when the place is less crowded, and you can explore the place at your own pace. The museum has free entry for residents of the municipality of Lisbon on Sundays, so it is most crowded on that day. During weekdays, it is better to visit in the morning, near to the opening hours. The museum is vast and in the morning you will be able to explore the place for a longer period.

Metro: Museum Calouste Gulbenkian has two metro stations closer to it. If you are travelling by Metro, you can get down at the São Sebastião if you are travelling by the blue or red lines and at Praça de Espanha if travelling blue line. 


Bus: Take Bus no. Carris 716, 726, 756 to get down at Av. de Berna, bus no. 746 to get down at Av. António Augusto de Aguiar and bus no.713, 742 to get down at Rua Marquês de Fronteira. 


City tour: You can also cover the Museum as a part of Lisbon’s major city tours. Opt for Lisbon Sightseeing (Grey Line), or Orient Line and Belém Line. You can also take City Sightseeing (Hop-on Hop-off) on Blue Line or Red Line to visit the attraction. 


Train: The nearest train station, Entrecampos station, is located around 15 minute-walk from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The station also has a connection with the metro network.

Audio guides are available and it is free. To avail of the audio guide, you will need to download the Gulbenkian Museum App and then access the audio guide. It is recommended that you use headphones to listen to the guide. The audio guide is available in English, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

FAQ's

Who designed the Gulbenkian Museum?

The group of architects Pedro Cid designed the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia and Alberto Pessoa in 1969. The purpose of the building was to accommodate around 6000 pieces of artwork collected by Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian.

How do I get to the Gulbenkian Museum?

You can get to the Gulbenkian Museum by using various means of transport. You can take a metro and reach either São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha and then walk to the museum. Alternatively, you can travel by train and reach Entrecampos station and walk for 15 minutes from there. Those travelling by bus can reach the nearby bus stops Av. de Berna, Av. António Augusto de Aguiar, and Rua Marquês de Fronteira. Finally, you can opt for one of the Lisbon city tours which covers the museum in their itinerary.

When was the Gulbenkian Museum built?

The Gulbenkian Museum was built in 1969 to house around six thousand pieces of artwork which were collected by Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian from around the world. The museum was built in the north of the 7.5-hectare Gulbenkian garden.

What famous art pieces can we find at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum?

Some of the famous art pieces that we can find at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum include a collection of paintings by eminent artists such as Rembrandt, Renoir, Guardi, Fragonard, Boucher, Lawrence, Gainsborough, Romney, Corot, Nattier, Manet, Degas, and Monet. The museum also has art pieces by Van de Weyden, Cima de Conegliano, Van Dyck, Bouts, Lochner, Carpaccio, Rubens, and Frans Hals. Apart from this, the museum also houses a stunning jewellery collection by René Lalique.

What are the timings for Gulbenkian Museum?

The Gulbenkian Museum is open from Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 6 pm and the last entry is at 5:30 pm. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and also on 1st January, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 24th & 25th December.

What is the best time to visit the Gulbenkian Museum?

The best time to visit Museum Calouste Gulbenkian is during the weekdays when the place is less crowded, and you can explore the place at your own pace. The museum has free entry for residents of the municipality of Lisbon on Sundays, so it is most crowded on that day. During weekdays, it is better to visit in the morning, near to the opening hours. The museum is vast and in the morning you will be able to explore the place for a longer period.

Are audio guides available in the Gulbenkian Museum?

Yes, audio guides are available and it is free. To avail of the audio guide, you will need to download the Gulbenkian Museum App and then access the audio guide. It is recommended that you use headphones to listen to the guide. The audio guide is available in English, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Are Gulbenkian Museum tickets available online?

Yes, you will be able to purchase the tickets for the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Lisbon Portugal online. Plan your visit and purchase the tickets beforehand to check all the options at your convenience. Booking a ticket online will also allow you to enjoy fabulous discounts and promotion offers.

What is the best way to buy Gulbenkian Museum tickets?

Although there is a ticket counter at the museum, the best way to buy Gulbenkian Museum tickets is to purchase them online. This way you will be able to skip the line at the attraction and also view the various options available before you purchase the tickets.

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