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  Vinhos Barbeito Museum  


The Vinhos Barbeito - Christopher Columbus Library Museum is situated in the "Diogo's Wineshop" opposite the Infante Shopping Centre in the Avenida Arriaga. Just a step away from after the roundabout off of Santa Catarina Park. It has a very wide collection of books and artefacts. Some books dating back to as far as the 16th century. An interesting museum for the sailing-at-heart visitor or Christopher Columbus enthusiast. In an overview we publish an interview by Don Glen Sandy with the late Mário Barbeito.


(INTERVIEW, June, 1978)

"I'm curious...", said Senhor Mário Barbeito de Vasconcelos, one of the world's greatest collectors of materials on Columbus. He was sitting in his private library, surrounded by 18,000 volumes pertaining to Madeira, Columbus, and a vast array of cultural subjects, many in English and German, some in Japanese or even Esperanto.

In his residence on Conde de Carvalhal, which he designed and built in the 30's to house his collections, and where he spends all of his leisure hours, Sr. Barbeito took out some time to be interviewed before leaving on a book-searching tour of Paris and London. He said, "My collections are enough to entertain me for a lifetime".
At an early age, Senhor Barbeito was a voracious reader in a variety of languages, and today is comfortable speaking in either English, German or Spanish. "I read every book in the public library before I was nineteen".
"I regularly read Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac and I feel like I've actually met ol' Franklin".
Mr. Barbeito reflected on his 47-year siege of collecting books and materials dating back to the 15th century, including some of the first references to Columbus's voyages - Mr. Barbeito's legacy to future generations.
"If I am perfect today, I will have the next day well organised... today and tomorrow are the most important", he added, a seasoned collector of the past.
Recalling a 1945 voyage of 25 days to Brazil with a travelling companion, the writer and philosopher Fidelino de Figueiredo, "If I could return to my youth, I would repeat everything the same way".
Even at 72, Senhor Barbeito deeply feels the same sentiments.
On a lighter note, a delightful memory passed through his mind, "I recall Bernard Shaw teaching me the latest dance craze of the 20's at the Reid's Hotel, but one of my cherished experiences was the visit to my home in 1972 of Christopher Columbus, the direct descendent of his venerable ancestor of the same name".

(Picture and interview courtesy of Don Glen Sandy in his book "Madeira Wine at Home")


More Info :

  • Opening Times :
    Mondays to Fridays:
    open from 10H00 until 19H00

    open from 10H00 until 13H00

  • Contact:
    Christopher Columbus Museum
    Diogo's Wine Shop
    Corner Avenida Arriaga
    and Rua das Aranhas

Did you know that the founder of this museum also founded the world renowned Vinhos Barbeito (Madeira) Wine Company ? For many years preceding and after the second world war Mario Barbeito had been buying up large stocks of old Madeira Wine stored by many different families in Madeira. The wines collected include the incredible 1795 Barbeito Terrantez. A wine of more than 200 years and rarely available to the general public for sale. However, there are availability possibilities of this rare wine and quite a few others through the Madeira Wine website on their online wine shop.


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