Visit MAAT museum in Portugal
The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, boast a diverse offers of tourist attractions, ranging from spectacular historic heritage, through gastronomy, to great beaches, just a short drive away from the city centre.
Since 2016, a new spot takes place on the map of mandatory stops for culture buffs: MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology.
The museum consist of two separate sections: an old (yet thoroughly renovated) old power station and an ultra-modern building erected right next to it, in the riverside area of the city known as Belem. If your time allows it, a trip to MAAT can be combine with a visit to other landmarks of the area, such as the Belem Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Jeronimos Monastery.
The original building of the power station has, for many years now, housed the Museum of Electricity. It gained however a whole new dimension in October 2016, when the adjoining newer section was inaugurated.
Lisbon architecture at its finest
The new building of MAAT attracts visitors as much through its content – permanent and temporary exhibitions by Portuguese and international authors – as much as due to its unique architecture, which is an exhibit in the museum by itself.
The design of the building, by the hand of the British architect Amanda Levet, allows to use it not only for expositions but also as a venue for public outdoor events. The roof can be accessed, serving as a viewing platform, with great panorama of River Tagus and the 25 Abril bridge. Several rows of steps leading to the main entrance invite the passer-byes to sit down, rest in the shade cast by the building and appreciate the views.
The undulating, sleek lines of the new building, and especially the predominant white colour of thousands of tiles lining its walls contrast with the heavy, blocky, red-brick old power station.
The unlikely combination of modern and old is very representative of the spirit of contemporary Lisbon where past and history intertwine.
MAAT new building
Ever since the inauguration the MAAT Museum has attracted a great deals from the Portuguese and the foreign tourists alike, becoming a staple of the Lisbon cultural scene.
The museum host a variety of exhibitions revolving around the artistic take on architecture and technology.
The main theme of the new section of the museum is the complicated relationship of people and the urban spaces they inhabit.
Guided tours, differently themed, are also available requiring however previous booking.
The electricity museum
In the building of the power station, which originally produced electricity for the whole of Lisbon, you will be able to appreciate modern art, as well as get a first-hand lesson of the history of electricity.
The station, listed as a building of public interest, was thoroughly restored and original elements of the machinery, were preserved.
Amongst the industrial settings, space for exhibits related to the process of producing electricity was made.
The ‘old’ part of MAAT Museum has also a large interactive section designed to engage the younger visitors (where the adults seem to have as much fun, though…)
MATT opening times and tickets
The museum is open daily, from 12.00 to 20.00, except for Tuesdays. It also closes on December 25th, January 1st and May 1st.
Both buildings of the museum can be visited separately. The ticket to each costs €5; €9 for a combined ticket for both.
MAAT offers discounts for students, teachers, or journalists. If you’re one of them, remember to bring any document/card confirming it. Admission is free for children and teens up to 18 years old.
Find more information on MAAT website.