The Maritime Museum’s collections are extremely rich and varied. They include pieces ranging from a ship that still sails to a postal stamp, or from a steam engine to a 14th-century manuscript. Of course, they also include everything you expect to find in a maritime museum: binnacles, anchors, model ships, navigational tools, etc. In other words, all sorts of documents and objects from the miniscule to the huge, from all different periods and made of all sorts of materials. For decades, the Museum has gathered examples of the maritime past, a heritage that reminds us of the lives of seafarers, the histories of ships and maritime activities in peacetime or war.
We would like to offer a selection of objects and documents that are notable for their historical interest, their rarity or their aesthetic value. These can give you a general idea of the content of the Museum’s collection. However, do not forget that there is a great deal beyond this selection, with thousands of artefacts and documents that you can discover using our search engine or other resources.
We encourage you to take a stroll through some of the key pieces in our Museum’s collection, grouped into twelve categories to help you keep your bearings.
Portrait of the steamship Montserrat, by Juan Luna y NovicioShip portraits
Pastel painting on paper by Juan Luna y Novicio. This was a commission from the Compañía Trasatlántica as a gift to the ship’s captain, Manuel Deschamps, on the occasion of his golden anniversary with the sea.
The steamship Montserrat became famous after escaping the American blockade of Cuba during the Spanish-American War of 1898. Commanded by Captain Deschamps, the Montserrat left Cadiz on April 10th, 1898, and while sailing off the coast of Martinique the crew learned of the outbreak of war. It managed to pass through the blockade, entering Cienfuegos. Then, on July 15th, it left the port of Cadiz once again with food and war materials and entered Matanzas a second time, avoiding enemy fire. Later, the Montserrat served as a hospital ship, and when the war was over it returned to carrying passengers, including Leon Trotsky.