Aljube Museum – learn about Portugal in the 20th century

Lisbon’s Aljube Museum of Resistance and Freedom (Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade) is the place to go if you are interested in the history of Portugal in the 20th century.

Republica newspaper headline says "The Armed Forces took power."
República newspaper headline says “The Armed Forces took power.”

What will you see at the Aljube Museum?

The museum opened on 25 April, 2015, commemorating the date of the Carnation Revolution that ended the Portuguese Dictatorship, and it honors those who sacrificed their time and lives as political prisoners and members of the resistance.

The story begins with the assassination of a king in 1908, the uneasy transition to a republic in the early 20th century, and the establishment of the Estado Novo, or New State, which controlled everything for the people of Portugal.

The Aljube Museum of the Resistance also chronicles the stresses felt from trying to violently maintain African colonies while Portugal itself was struggling economically.

Visitors will learn how life was under the dictator António de Oliveira Salazar, how strict and severe the state police were, and how neighbors feared and reported each other to the state police.

The museum explains how a resistance to the government was born on farms and in factories, in offices, universities, and eventually even the military all peacefully united to overthrow the authoritarian regime in the 25 April Carnation Revolution.

The signal for soldiers to move against the government in unison took place when Grândola, Vila Morena played on radios across the country on 25 of April, 1974.

Everything is extremely well-documented in this museum in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. There is a massive amount of information to take in.

The Aljube Museum also does a thorough job of chronicling the horrors that political prisoners faced. Many were banished to jails in the African colonies, but this museum itself was the largest political prison in Portugal for 37 years, between 1928 and 1965.

Visitors can actually go into a recreation of one of the tiny cells that prisoners lived in and sit on the little bed.

Recreation of a tiny prison cell in Lisbon's Aljube Museum of the Resistance
There are several recreations of the tiny prison cells within the Aljube Museum.

How to get to the Aljube Museum

  • Bus 737 from Praca da Figuera
  • Tram12E or Tram 28E
  • Walk uphill for ten minutes from downtown (Baixa neighborhood).  Follow the tram tracks.

Address: Rua Augusto Rosa 42

GPS Coordinates: 38.71040300699027, -9.132292610193337

Aljube Museum Hours

Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm

Closed on Mondays. The last entrance is at 5:30.

The face of anti-goverment leader and political prisoner Amavel Vitorino.  His face is a collage of pictures of other Portuguese political prisoners.
The face of anti-goverment leader and political prisoner Amável Vitorino. His face is a collage of pictures of other Portuguese political prisoners.

Admission to the Aljube Museum

Admission is €3.

Official website: https://www.museudoaljube.pt/en/

What else is near the Aljube Museum?

View of Lisbon's Se Cathedral from the Aljube Museum of the Resistance
View of lisbon’s Sé Cathderal from the Aljube Museum of the Resistance
  • Sé Cathedral – Lisbon’s Cathedral is directly across the street from the Aljube Museum, and there are several excellent views of the cathedral from the museum. My article: Lisbon Cathedral | All you need to know before you go
  • Igreja de Santo António – The church built on the site where St. Anthony was born is a block before the Aljube museum on the same side of the street. It is across from the cathedral.
  • Miradouro da Santa Luzia – This beautiful and romantic viewpoint is a little higher up the road.
  • Miradouro das Portas do Sol – Another of Lisbon’s best viewpoints is just past the Miradouro and Church of Santa Luzia.
  • Castelo de São Jorge – Peel off to the left and head uphill to find Lisbon’s castle. For more information, read my In and around Castelo de São Jorge – Lisbon’s castle

Are you curious about other museums in Lisbon? Here is the guide I wrote: Finding the most interesting museums in Lisbon

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