São Sebastião Museum

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São Sebastião Museum
Museu São Sebastião
Forte de São Sebastião
São Sebastião Museum is located in São Tomé
São Sebastião Museum
Location within São Tomé
Established 1575 (fortress)
late 1970s (museum)
Location São Tomé, São Tomé Island, São Tomé and Príncipe
Coordinates Coordinates: 0°20′45″N 6°44′22″E / 0.34583°N 6.73944°E / 0.34583; 6.73944
Type National Museum
Collections culture, local, artistry

São Sebastião Museum is a museum and fort in São Tomé and Príncipe in the city of São Tomé in the southernmost part of Ana Chaves Bay. It contains religious art and colonial-era artifacts.[1]

The museum was opened on July 11, 1976, one of the first in the nation.

VIew of the fortress with the island, the São Tomé Island Forest and the island/country's tallest summit


The fort was first built in 1575 and was the first fort in the island of São Tomé.

A lighthouse was built in 1866, it was rebuilt in 1928 and was restored in 1994.

The fort was rebuilt in the late 1950s with a project by the architect Luís Benavente who was colonial governor at the time. In 1960, it was under the Command of the Provincial Maritime Defense.


The fort is square shaped with pentagolan brathwait in the vertical edges in the Vauban style.

Three of the explorer's statues inside the museum

By the fort are the three statues of the discoverers of the island including João de Santarém, Pêro Escobar and João de Paiva. These statues were moved from the squares and gardens of the city after the nation became independent.


The museum highlights African and Portuguese history. In one room, voodoo related culture are displayed. In one room, sacred Catholic art are displayed.

Contemporary art paintings by Manuela Vigôço from 1945 are displayed.

A permanent exposition titled Casa das tortugas (House of turtles) which features sea turtles since 2004.

Photos and documents from the Batepá massacre which happened in 1953 are displayed in the museum.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Dominique Gallet, Sao Tomé-et-Principe : les îles du milieu du monde, Paris, Karthala, 2008 (new revised edition), p. 234 ISBN 978-2-8111-0025-4

External links[edit]