Opened in 1998, the Oceanário de Lisboa has reimagined the centuries-old bond between Lisbon and the ocean. It is one of the largest indoor aquariums in Europe and approximately 1 million people visit each year.
It is located in the Parque das Nações in eastern Lisbon, which was the exhibition grounds for the Expo ’98. The theme of the fair was “The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future”, chosen in part to commemorate 500 years of Portuguese discoveries.
The Lisbon Oceanarium’s conceptual design, architecture, and exhibit design was led by Peter Chermayeff of Peter Chermayeff LLC while at Cambridge Seven Associates. It is said to resemble an aircraft carrier, and is built on a pier in an artificial lagoon.
The main exhibit is a 11,000 sq ft, 1,300,000 US gallon tank with four large 530 sq ft acrylic windows on its sides, and smaller focus windows strategically located around it to make sure it is a constant component throughout the exhibit space.
I had the opportunity to visit this remarkable aquarium during a three week trip to Portugal last month. I didn’t bring my big-boy camera but was equipped with my iPhone 13 Pro which was more than up to the task of grabbing a few clips to help give you an idea how spectacular this aquarium is.
Should you ever find yourself in the lovely city of Lisbon (and you really, really should find yourself there one day), make the Oceanário de Lisboa a must-see attraction. Enjoy the video…