Artillery in Portugal: Algarve, Portimão Museum, Beja, Vendas Novas, and the Portuguese Army Artillery School

Artillery - Portugal (Part 7) Algarve, Portimão Museum, Beja, Vendas Novas, Portuguese Army Artillery School

Algarve, Portimão Museum

The Portimão Museum is located in the interior of an old fish canning factory which has been restored.  It was opened in 2008, and has exhibits dealing with archeology, underwater findings and the local history of commercial fishing.

Ten 17th century smoothbore muzzle-loading cannon which were recovered from the bottom of the Arade River in Portugal between 1993 and 2006.  Three of them have been classified as “National Treasures”, the highest recognition awarded by the national culture board (DGPC).  The cannon are believed to have belonged to a Spanish ship which sank in the river mouth, near Ponta do Altar, sometime between 1580 and 1640, the period during which the Iberian Union governed the Iberian Peninsula.  According to the Portimão Council, they are considered to be “one of the most significant collections of 17th century artillery” and “important evidence of the transoceanic navigation” of Spanish vessels which sailed along the Portuguese coast as a route to its colonies.  The cannon are part of the local museum’s permanent exhibition ‘Portimão – Território e Identidade’.  The seven other cannon are undergoing restoration works at the National Centre of Underwater Archaeology in Lisbon.  (Michael Bruxo, Portugal resident)

(Michael Bruxo Photo)

Bronze guns, Museu de Portimão.

(Michael Bruxo Photo)

Bronze guns, Museu de Portimão.

(Joseolgon Photo)

Bronze guns, Museu de Portimão.

(Joseolgon Photo)

Bronze guns, Museu de Portimão.

(Joseolgon Photo)

Bronze guns, Museu de Portimão.

(Joseolgon Photo)

Bronze guns, Museu de Portimão.


(Stu McDonald Photo)

6-pounder anti-tank gun, on a hard stand in front of Regimento de Infantaria nº 1.

Bragança, Museu Militar de Bragança

The keep of Bragança Castle within the historic walled citadel (Cidadela) of Bragança contains one of the best of Portugal's numerous military museums.  The Torre de Menagem (keep) is 33m tall and was occupied by the Portuguese military well into the 20th century.  In 1929 the space was converted into a museum by an officer in the regiment stationed here with many of the exhibits donated by local inhabitants of Bragança.

(Military Museum Bragança Photo)

One of two 5.5-inch BL Mk. III Guns mounted on Mk. I Carriages.  These guns fired a 45.5-kg (100-pound) shell to a range of 14,800 metres (16,200 yards).

(Manuel Anastácio Photo)

Second of two 5.5-inch BL Mk. III Guns mounted on Mk. I Carriages.

Buçaco, Mealhad, Military Museum.

(Joseolgon Photo)

Bronze gun mounted on a wheeled wood carriage.

(Joseolgon Photo)

Bronze gun, coat of arms.


Fort erected during the Portuguese Restoration War with Spain originaly equipped with four pieces of artillery.


Cast iron smoothbore muzzle-loading gun, unmounted.

Porto, Military Museum of Porto (Museu Militar do Porto), Rua do Heroismo 329, 4300-259 Porto.

The museum collection includes several heavy and light howitzers, light guns, bronze guns, quite a few tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries.

(Joseolgon Photo)

Cannon on display outdoors, Museu Militar do Porto.

(Museu Militar do Porto Photo)

Two 5.5-inch BL Mk. III Guns on Mk. I Carriages.  These guns fired a 45.5-kg (100-pound) shell to a range of 14,800 metres (16,200 yards).

(Museu Militar do Porto Photo)

20-mm Quadruple Polsten Anti-Aircraft Gun on a C Mk I mounting.

(Museu Militar do Porto Photo)

BL 6-inch 26-cwt Howitzer, Vickers Ltd, Great Britain.

M5A1 Stuart Light Tank.

Bronze 5-pounder SBML gun mounted on an iron garrison carriage, Pec de Campanha, 1802.

Bronze 2-pounder SBML gun on a carriage.

(Joseolgon Photo)

15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 (15-cm sFH 18) heavy field gun.

(Museu Militar do Porto Photo)

Bofors 40-mm anti-aircraft gun.

(Museu Militar do Porto Photo)

10.5-cm LeFH 18/40 Howitzer.

(Museu Militar do Porto Photo)

Light artillery piece.

25-pounder field gun.

Praia de Mira

(tofixe Photo)

7.5-cm Schneider-Canet Model 1917 Field Gun.

Serra Da Arrábida, Setúbal

(cannibalpig Photo)

152-mm Krupp Gun, 7th Battery Coastal artillery.

(Ricardo Reis Photo)

152-mm Krupp Gun, 7th Battery Coastal artillery, decommissioned in 1998.


(Urbexzone Photo)

152-mm Krupp Gun, 5th Battery Coastal artillery.  The 5th Battery was part of a major tactical system of coast defense, covering all approaches to the mouth of Tagus river, and on to the capital city Lisbon.  The battery was built in 1893, not far from the old Vigia fort, a bit higher, to the East.  By then the garrison was accommodated in another military facility, Trafaria’s barracks, inaugurated by the King D. Carlos in 1905.  All these Portuguese military installations were renovated during the First World War, when they were equipped with newer guns of a higher caliber.  The guns preserved on site are 152-mm Krupp guns, which had a rate of fire of 4 rounds per minute and had a range of 20 km. The guns were served by a 9-man crew.  Each shell had a weight of 45 kg.

Another coastal defence battery was located at Alpena.

EPA (Army Artillery School), Vendas Novas

This is an open air museum, with its collection on exhibit in front of the Artillery Army School in Vendas Novas since 1992. The display open to the public in an area beside the main road of the town.  There is a wide range of artillery weaponry, with artillery from the 19th Century and 20th Century.  The museum has an indoor section and the entrance is free.

10.5-cm LeFH 18/40 Howitzer.

Torgut Photo)

25-pounder Sexton SP gun.

(Torgut Photos)

BL 6-inch 26-cwt Howitzer, Vickers Ltd, Great Britain, Reg. No. unknown.

The 5th Artillery Regiment (RA5), (Regimento de Artilharia nº5) of the Portuguese Army provides the Field Artillery Group for the Intervention Brigade and is based at Vendas Novas.

The 4th Artillery Regiment or RA4 (Regimento de Artilharia n.º 4) of the Portuguese Army is stationed in Leira. The RA4 is dependent on the Rapid Reaction Brigade.

Villa de Cosa

(god herodes Photo)

Blomefield Cast Iron 32-pounder 56-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight ca 5,600 lbs), possibly Samuel Walker & Company of Rotherham, England (WCo) on left trunnion, (Serial No. 53) on right trunnion.

The Portuguese Independent Heavy Artillery Corps (Corpo de Artilharia Pesada Indepedente), Corps d'artillerie lourde portugais, or the CAPI, was a railway heavy artillery unit that operated on the Western Front during the First World War.

The CAPI was created in response to a request from France for artillery support.  It was independent from the much larger and better known Portuguese Expeditionary Corps, which also fought on the Western Front.  The unit operated 320-millimetre (12.6 in), 240-mm and 190-mm railway, which were supplied by Britain, and operated under the control of the French Army.Most of the CAPI's personnel came from the Portuguese Army foot artillery branch, which in Portugal was responsible for manning the heavy guns of the coastal and garrison batteries.  Other personnel came from the naval artillery.

(Wikiwand Photo)

French 320-mm railway gun in service during the First World War.