The history of Portimão is deeply linked to the natural resources of the surrounding area, essentially Mediterranean in character, as well as to both the river and the sea.
Since ancient times, fish from the local waters was processed and preserved with salt, and later, in the 20th century, a major fishing and canning industry developed along the banks of the river Arade.
In 1996, the need to conserve all this history prompted the Municipality of Portimão to purchase the old “São Francisco” fish canning factory located on the city’s waterfront.
It was here in this restored factory, dating from the late 19th century, where the Portimão Museum opened on 17th May 2008; it is a cultural centre and a space for discovering the origins and the development of the community, the surrounding area and the most important aspects of its industrial and maritime history.
Its main exhibition, “Portimão, Territory and Identity”, is a historical synthesis of the socio-economic and cultural journey of the people who have lived here and created their unique identity and area.