At the beginning of the 16th century, São Lourenço Palace was built by order of king Dom Manuel I. At the time, the fortress was built to defend the population of Funchal. It currently houses the Madeira Military Museum.
Some of the unoccupied spaces of this palace, classified as a National Monument since 1943, underwent renovation works in 1991. This is the case of the old Guard House, whose space was immediately intended for housing this museum.
The Madeira Military Museum was then built in 1993, presenting visitors with various objects of a military and artistic nature. Occupying three rooms of the old fortress, the exhibition displays several collections of weaponry, with pieces ranging from the 18th century to the present day, a collection of old bronze artillery pieces and another of light weapons.
Using innovative technology, this museum also provides a dynamic illustration of the 600 years of history of the Portuguese Army in Madeira. Since 2010, the Madeira Military Museum presents a configuration organised according to the following themes: 'Madeira in the context of Portuguese expansion'; 'Military History of Madeira'; 'Military Fortifications and Infrastructures of the Region'.
Installed in São Lourenço Palace, a fortress built in the 16th century, the Madeira Military Museum presents visitors with a wide range of military and artistic objects.