Museum of Resistance and Freedom

The National Museum of Resistance and Freedom restores, promotes and musealises the most symbolic areas of Peniche Fortress, a former political prison. Our proposal features a new entrance to the complex, celebrating freedom and reversing the route taken in the legendary escape by political leaders in 1960. The entrance tower creates a new way into the Museum, transforming it into a contemporary intervention for the city and overcoming the symbolic barrier of the wall. The names of the almost 30,000 political prisoners who were locked up by the Estado Novo are inscribed on the tower.

The memorial pathway leads up to the new entrance to the Museum, located at the highest point of the Fortress, with views over the entire prison complex. A sombre volume in relation to the existing building creates a new access route to the ground floor, where the museum is located.

A new visual vanishing point inverts the view of the prison entrance and turns it outwards to the broad expanse of the ocean, which was previously blurred by the translucent glass of the cell windows. The new graphic mural in the Governor’s Courtyard reinforces the contemporary style of the Museum.

The long-term exhibition areas are organised into three categories: main rooms, musealised areas in situ and two outdoor memorials (the Entrance Tower / Memorial and the Memorial to the Disappeared, in the Prisoners’ Yard). The design of the museum space features original content and reproductions in new showcases and frames, with a design influenced by the old prison furniture, and supplemented by graphic devices (timelines, texts and photographs).

The National Museum of Resistance and Freedom preserves the National Monument, creating two hubs: the Museum Hub and the Civic Hub. The Museum Hub forms part of the architectural heritage of the prison complex, offering long-term and temporary exhibitions, a documentation centre and library, archive and deposits, an educational service and administrative area.
The Civic Hub is closely linked to the military architectural heritage and outdoor spaces, interpreting the history and memories of the Fortress and restoring the outdoor space within the walls to the city of Peniche.