Lisbon is a wonderful European capital, often overshadowed on the Iberian Peninsula. One of the city’s most important museums, and deemed an overall “top 10” attraction is the incredible Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (or Gulbenkian Museum): museu.gulbenkian.pt
The collector, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian (1869-1955), was an Armenian born during the time of the Ottoman Empire. He made his fortune from oil and moved to Portugal toward the end of his life in 1942. A long time collector and philanthropist, he willed his collection to a foundation to be based in Lisbon under his name, which was formally established in 1956.
Strolling through this magnificent museum you are awed by incredibly diverse arts, which include tapestry, sculpture, painting, furniture and more. And the time period of these works spans the era of the ancient Egyptians through the European impressionists.
One of Gulbenkian’s favorite sculptures was the marble Diana by Houdon; he purchased this piece, which belonged to Catherine of Russia, from the Hermitage Museum in 1930. The intimate gallery is filled with such treasures and this museum is not to be missed during a trip to Lisbon.