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Património Cultural

National Museum Resistence and Freedom

In April 2017 the Portuguese Government approved a plan for rehabilitation of the Fortress of Peniche in order to set up a National Museum that would perpetuate the historic memory of this former political prison of the dictatorship. Later in September, the Fortress was entrusted to the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC), where procedures were immediately started for preserving the historic building and establishing the 15th National Museum.

The call for tenders for the architectural project was launched on 7 February 2018 and the project was awarded to Atelier AR4, under the coordination of João Barros Matos. 

Of the 22 proposals submitted, the jury considered that the winner’s project stood out for “overlapping different types of routes while preserving their autonomy, meaning or fluidity as a whole”.

The Fortress of Peniche, built in the 16th century and listed as a National Monument in 1938, reopened to the public on 25 April 2019. With a new use, it positioned Portugal in the international road map of the so-called Memorial Museums evoking the fight for Freedom and Human Rights.

As a result of an in-depth research work carried out by CICAM (Committee for Museum Content Production and Presentation), which will be continued and further consolidated in 2021, it was possible to set up the exhibition ‘For Your Free Thinking’ and inaugurate the Memorial.

The purpose of the exhibition is to pay homage to former prisoners, their families, the population of Peniche and the thousands of men and women who have devoted their lives to resistance to fascism and fight for freedom.

Striking moments of Contemporary History can be evoked in this exhibition from documents, photos and objects that will be showcased in the future Museum. Archival footage includes statements from political prisoners, their relatives and their heroic escapes from prison, in particular by Dias Lourenço and Álvaro Cunhal. There is a section depicting the history of the Fortress from the 16th century to the present day.

The Memorial, a large size Corten steel plate, shows the names of the 2510 political prisoners held in the Peniche jail during 48 years of repression from the Estado Novo.

Contacts and

Aida Rechena
Fortaleza de Peniche, Campo da República, 609, 2520-607, Peniche, Portugal
Lat: 39.353999 Long: -9.380114
+351 262 789 159 | + 351 262 798 028

How to get there: Transportes públicos Rodoviária do Oeste Rede-expressos Transporte privado De Lisboa, tempo estimado 1h20m A8 | IP6 Do Porto, tempo estimado 2h37m A1| A25| A17 | A8 | IP6 Public transport Rodoviária do Oeste http: // Rede-expressos https: // Private transport From Lisbon, estimated time: 1h20 A8 IP6 From Porto, estimated time: 2h37 A1 A25 A17 A8 IP6

Parking facilities: There is a free car park opposite the main entrance.

The Museum is closed



Temporary exhibition “For Your Free Thinking”

Prior booking required for guided tours

Groups: 10-25 people

Reservation timings: Monday to Friday 10: 00-13: 00; 14: 00-18: 00

Education services http: // (under construction)

The Education Service (S.E.) aims to contribute to the reflection and training of critical citizens and to raise awareness of the importance of exercising citizenship, strengthening democracy and respect for human rights.

Roteiro para a Exposição ‘Por Teu Livre Pensamento’

Multilingual Edition: English

Multilingual Edition: Spanish French

Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage 2019

Reference: IPPRBLIV19943301

Dimensions: 21,5x29.8 cm; 68pp

PVP: EUR 5,00

Date: 25 April 2019

Cultural Agenda

Last change: 31 August 2023

Rede Portuguesa de Museus

A Rede Portuguesa de Museus (RPM) é um sistema organizado de museus, baseado na adesão voluntária, configurado de forma progressiva e que visa a descentralização, a mediação, a qualificação e a cooperação entre museus.

A Rede Portuguesa de Museus é composta pelos 165 museus que atualmente a integram. A riqueza do seu universo reside na diversidade de tutelas, de coleções, de espaços e instalações, de atividades educativas e culturais, de modelos de relação com as comunidades e de sistemas de gestão.

+ DGPC Museums and Monumentos