The finds excavated in the numerous shipwrecks along the coast of Cascais by underwater archaeologists bear witness to the passing of time, from Ancient Rome to the present day.
A fascinating universe of discovery, this vast and diverse underwater world allows archaeologists to expand their fields of research

1 2 5 4
3 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
Click here to view images

.This gallery focuses especially of shipwrecks occurred between the 16th and the 18th centuries this exhibition discusses issues pertaining navigation conditions; trade practices; piracy and privateering; and the difficult conditions of life aboard, some of which are essential for the study of the major navigation routes of the Modern Era.
Some of the objects on display result from the partnership and protocol signed between Cascais City Council and IGESPAR (Instituto de Gestão Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico), and from the excavations led by multidisciplinary teams.


The harsh climate conditions and unpredictable changes in winds and currents were a major danger when crossing the Atlantic. Yet the approximation to the coast and the entrance into the Tagus constituted the greatest threat to a safe return of the ships to the Lisbon harbour, demanding form sea farers a vast knowledge of tides, currents, and wind changes. The danger was heightened by trade, in that these ships were overloaded with merchandise on their return journey, stored anarchically and without any concern for the balance of the vessel. Piracy and privateering were also at the origin of so many shipwrecks. The danger of running into the hands of pirates and privateers upon crossing the Cape of Roca and Cape Raso was high. Naval battles were almost always inevitable, as were human and material losses. The quality of life aboard was seriously affected during return journeys. Before departure from Lisbon, ships were stocked with supplies, an expense paid for by the crown, with the provisions considered necessary for such a long journey. The return journey was, however, almost always characterised by hunger, sickness or tragedy.


---- © Câmara Municipal de Cascais | Museu do Mar Rei D. Carlos