Beginning nearly two hundred fifty years ago (1758), Portuguese researchers began collecting specimens from the areas of zoology, anthropology, geology, botony, and paleontology, resulting in the creation of the Royal Natural History Museum and Botanical Gardens in western Lisbon. In 1858, these collections were transferred to the Polytechnic School and two years later became known as the National Museum of Lisbon. By 1911, the University of Lisbon was founded and the collections were attached to the Faculty of Sciences. A devasting fire in 1978 destroyed much of the building. Seven years later, the Science Museum of the University of Lisbon was created, sharing a building with the National Museum of Natural History. The consolidation of these two museums created the country's main museum focusing on nature, with the collections now numbering more than 620,000 specimens. One of the main features we enjoyed was exploring the old science laboratories of the University of Lisbon ( these are not recreations but rather the real deal). On the upper floor, there is a hands-on physics experiments room where older students can try some actual experiments. If you are a lover of math, there is a room full of games devoted to this subject. The museum is still part of the University of Lisbon and its research and collections are ongoing.
Most University Science labs also included an amphitheater for presentations to large student bodies.