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Unusual collections in historic settings
The Gulbenkian aside, Lisbon hasn’t traditionally been a magnet for museum-lovers. But since many institutions are housed in former palaces, unimaginative presentation is often offset by stunning azulejo (tile) panels or charming gardens. Displays recall Portugal’s fascinating history of maritime discovery and the cultural mixes that resulted. There are also award-winning Lisbon museums dedicated to electricity (a towering former power plant), water (a restored pumping station) and pharmacy.