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Oceanário Aquarium

Oceanário Aquarium (45)

In a city which is historically connected so closely to the ocean and which saw the departure of many explorers in search of new worlds, it is only natural that Lisbon is home to a spectacular aquarium like this one.

The Lisbon “Oceanário” aquarium was the main attraction of the city’s 1998 Expo. It is located in the district of ´Nations’ Park` and is Europe’s biggest aquarium and the second biggest in the world.

At present, it is one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist attractions and forms part of the new town located on the banks of the river Tajo. The Portuguese capital, in both its old and modern quarters, continues to live under the influence of water. 

This biological marine museum contains four sections and holds over twenty-five thousand species of fish and animals, as well as over seven million litres of salt water.

This impressive pavilion, made of steel and crystal, was designed by the North-American architect Peter Chermayeff. As if it were a ship, it lies in the port area, at the end of the harbour and is surrounded by water. It is a two-floored structure consisting of a ground floor with an upper level of crystal, and an underwater section.

This large aquarium, dedicated to the sea, consists of four different sections and represents the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Antarctic Ocean’s coastal and underwater ecosystems. In all, it is a superb collection of over four-hundred and fifty species of flora and many types of fauna, such as birds, mammals, fish and other surprising ocean dwellers.

Apart from the four lateral tanks, the part of the museum which attracts most attention is its gigantic central tank which is as big as four Olympic size swimming pools.

Designed to appear like the open ocean, it contains various types of marine wildlife, including sharks, hammerheads, rays, tuna and sea bream. A real marine tower of Babel…  

It all makes for a fantastic visit, and whether big or small, you will be sure to enjoy coming here. 

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