Housed inside a building with a sinister history. This 19th century building was once the head quarters of the dreaded secret police - PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado) during the Salazar years and the Estado Novo (New State). That aside, the museum and its exhibits makes an interesting detour if you're in the Bonfim district and enjoy the varied collection of military memorabilia.
The museum is now managed by the Portuguese Army who provides many of the exhibits along with third party dedicated private sponsors. The museum first opened to the public in 1977.
After being greeted by the foot soldier at reception visitors are directed into the main building. It contains around 16,000 miniature soldiers produced by various European companies such as UK's Elastolin and Heyde and Lineol from Germany. They are arranged in chronological sets by nation, in glass cases and represent the most prominent historic military leaders and dictators; from Ramses II to Hitler.
Found amongst the other exhibits are a collection of light arms, vehicles, uniforms, paraphernalia, firearms and heavy artillery that date from between the 16th century uptown the mid-twentieth. Here too are more ancient exhibits, most notable an original sword of Afonso Henriques (1109-1185), Portugal's first King.
The first floor is dedicated to the wars of the 19th century; the Peninsular War against Napoleon and the 1891 Revolution, the first attempt to establish the Republic took place in Porto. The heavier ordnance and vehicles are found within the grounds and in a two-story warehouse, the Pavilhão das Armas.
Tuesday – Friday: 10h00 - 17h00, Weekends: 10h00 – 12h30/13h45 – 17h00, Monday: CLOSED
Adult: €3.00, Concessionary: €1.00
Porto Card: FREE
Bus: 207 | Timetable | STCP Website
Metro: Heroísmo (Line A, B, C & E) | Timetable | Metro do Porto Website
329 Rua do Heroísmo, 4300-259 Porto, Portugal. | 41° 08' 43.8"N | 08° 35' 41.8"W
+351 225 365 514 | email@example.com