[NoteBook] Whaling Museums in The Azores
#Fábrica da Baleia, Horta, Faial Island
The « Fábrica da Baleia« , also called the Porto Pim Whaling Station, is based on the beach of Porto Pim, a strategic location for whalers.
After the worldwide decline of the whaling industry in 1974, the factory will finally close its doors. The Government of the Azores acquired the station in 1980, then restored the building and the machinery, to open the Fábrica da Baleia in 2000.
The best part of this beautiful museum is definitely the Sperm Whale Skeleton and its anatomical cut! Steam boilers, blubber bone and meat cookers, meat grinder squeezer and dryer, tools… Everything was kept for the public to see and to learn more about whaling in The Azores and its importance to the community.
#Museu da Indústria Baleeira, São Roque, Pico Island
The « Museu da Indústria Baleeira » is located right next to São Roque harbour, and is also the main attraction of the town.
The interest of this whaling museum is it’s authenticity: Apart from the entrance, the station is what it used to be back then. The walls, floor, machinery are completely clean but left as it was. You will even find an old truck, photographies, and Azorian souvenirs.
#Museu dos Baleeiros, Lajes do Pico, Pico Island
The « Museu dos Baleeiros », is on the other side of Pico island, close to Lajes do Pico harbour.
Many rooms, items (ambergris, whale flour, tools, weapons, and information are available in this museum, as well as a movie about whale hunting, photographies, a traditional boat used for whale hunting, and many pieces of scrimshaw (see below).
#Museu de Scrimshaw, Horta, Faial Island
The « Museu de Scrimshaw » on the 1st floor of Peter’s Cafe is one of the largest in the world! But what is Scrimshaw exactly? It is considered as the art of decorating, painting, and engraving ivory or sperm whale bones. Scrimshaw was created by sailors, as a hobby, to pass the time while at sea. The most common engravings are boats, figures, and hunting scenes, but you can find amazing pieces with marine mammals. My favourite? The mermaid of course! Among the teeth, you will find engraved bones, photos, and some tools.
This museum is absolutely a must see. And why not order a piece of chocolate cake with vanilla icecream at Peter’s after your visit?
The last whale was hunted in 1987, in The Azores archipelago, and these museums were created to perpetuate the whaling memory.
Each one of these museums has something different to tell you, and they perfectly complete each other! Definitely worth the visit!
⚓︎ Whale museums in The Azores
Ahoy Sailors & Mermaids! I hope you liked my previous post about the whale conservation project, as I will now show you 3 whaling stations, as well as a very unique museum, around The Azores archipelago!
Museum : Fábrica da Baleia
Date : 13th June 2019
Location : Horta, Faial Island
Museum : Museu da Indústria Baleeira
Date : 15th June 2019
Location : São Roque, Pico Island
Museum : Museu dos Baleeiros
Date : 16th June 2019
Location : Lajes do Pico, Pico Island
Museum : Museu de Scrimshaw
Date : 4th June 2019
Location : Horta, Faial Island