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About Pico Museum


Pico Museum, which is categorised as a regional museum, is comprised of the Whaling Museum, in the town of Lajes, the Whaling Industry Museum, in the town of São Roque and the Wine Museum, in the town of Madalena.

Whaling Museum

The Whaling Museum building, with a roofed area of around 800 m2, is composed of a set of three former whaling boathouses of the 19th century plus an annexed blacksmith's forge, integrated into a new building - strongly influenced by North American whaling architecture - which houses the library and archive.

The Museum's collections are essentially composed of ethnographical objects relative to whale hunting and its history.

This is the only museum in Portugal specialising in whaling and it is the most sought out and visited museum in the Azores. This museum, in articulation with the Whaling Industry Museum, constitute the region's only museological structures with the potential to become a privileged space to display the comprehensive history of whaling in the Azores.


Whaling Industry Museum

The Whaling Industry Museum, which was the former Whale Factory that was operational between 1949 and 1984, is composed of three rectangular buildings with a four-tank structure and a grinding workshop adjoining the building on the right-hand side, where the stone masonry chimney is sited. The industrial buildings cover a total area of 1200 m2. This was the building in which the oil, flours, fertilisers and vitamins were produced from the fat, meat, bones and liver of sperm whales.

The museum was inaugurated on 20 May 1994, opening up to the public the sperm whale processing plant, the main building of the fishing and processing complex of the Armações Baleeiras Reunidas, Lda company. The Whale Factory restoration and improvement project (1991) was drafted by the architects Martins Naia and Paulo Oliveira.

The museum conversion project commenced in 1992 and was headed by the Centre of Ethnological Studies of the University of the Azores (under the general coordination of Professor Rui de Sousa Martins). An important intervention in the renovation and modernisation of the Whaling Industry Museum was the recent installation of communication equipment and facilities – information panels, flyers and a sales area. The Pico Regional Museum and the Regional Directorate for Culture were responsible for this intervention.


Wine Museum

The Wine Museum comprises the following buildings: the Carmelites Convent (which was once a residence on the first floor and cellar on the ground floor), which is now used as an exhibition and storage space; and the warehouse, which houses the stills (distillery) and a recently established open area adapted to hold an audience, which has a double-outlet stone press. Besides these two buildings, which have been restored, a new building was constructed from scratch to house a stone three-outlet press, which is only accessed via the dragon's blood palm plantation and a viewing platform made from painted wood, which provides a view over the attached vine "preserves".

The re-use and cultural valorisation of this space aims to preserve the cultural and environmental heritage of the former property of the Carmelite Order in Madalena (the buildings, vineyard and dragon's blood palms) and the memories associated to vine growing and the production of wine on the island of Pico.


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