Last week was museum week, the first international week celebrating museums around the world, I was going to post this then but then reflecting on our Museum experiences in the Algarve thought I’d wait a few days!
I love museums generally . . . always finding something new to go wow at. And here in the east Algarve there are definitely a couple of things at which you will go wow – for example the Estoi ruins are wonderful. Generally though the museums we’ve been to have had something lacking, and it’s not the language issue. Of the ones we’ve visited, even the indoor exhibit at Estoi, have a similar presentation style. And there is just something about it which doesn’t work for us.
Each museum has some interesting contents, and occasionally you came across something truly wonderful such as this mosaic of the god Oceanus.
Generally though we’ve found the exhibits underwhelming – for example there is a Railway Exhibition on at the moment in Faro, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the railway arriving in Faro. As my hubby enjoys the railways and I’m into social history we decided to go. There were three Exhibition rooms of which one focused more on the railway communications than the railways itself. The other two have a few photographs but not much else. Not quite what we were expecting. We did enjoy the video of the Algarve line and the odd photograph they had of the railway when it first opened, but that was it. We were disappointed there was not more on the history, and surprised so many of the photographs of the stations looked as though they had been taken the other week!
There was also an Archaeology Collection in Faro which sounded good, instead we came across a rather random collection of oddities with no clear records of where they came from. Still on the rather cold grey day we were visiting we didn’t mind. Especially as we really enjoyed a wonderful art exhibit taking place at the same time in a different part of the museum.
Would we go back to the one in Faro, possibly since the entrance fee was minimal, the old convent in which the museum is housed is a lovely building and who knows next time there could be something amazing!
I am sorry to say though we probably won’t be returning to the Olhão museum, even on a wet day!
There are some positives, it is free and in an interesting building but the exhibits themselves will take you less than 15 minutes to go round. The only thing that really caught our eye was the 1885 map of the Ria Formosa around Faro and Olhão, oh and I liked the ceiling in one of the rooms on the first floor.
At the time of our visit there was also a photo exhibition by Vasco Cartó, which has captured some of the diversity of Olhão. Overall though we were disappointed, and also surprised so little is made of their industrial or social history.
It is however as I said at the start Museum Week so don’t take my word for it though – if you have not yet been, it is raining or you want to escape the warmth of the sun for 20minutes do pop in to one of the museums and let me know what you think. What did I miss?!