Whalers’ Museum, Lajes - A view from our expert author

A fascinating exhibition about whaling as it was in the Azores until 1985, this museum in Lajes hosts boats, tools, photographs and even a blacksmith’s workshop.

This is a fascinating exhibition about whaling as it was in the Azores until 1985. The exhibits are appropriately displayed in three original 19th-century boathouses plus ancillary areas.

They include boats, tools and other artefacts, photographs, many good examples of scrimshaw, a blacksmith’s workshop and much else, as well as a library well stocked with titles about whaling and cetaceans. Twenty years ago it was a tiny museum where you often had to get the key from a nearby house. Long-held ambitions for a museum to truly reflect the bravery and lifestyle of the Azores’ whalers have now been realised and the displays are constantly being improved. The museum provides an essential experience for any visitor wishing to understand the role of whaling in the social and economic history of the islands.

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