João José Tinoco

Postcard of Museo Álvaro de Castro in Lourenço Marques, MozambiqueThe Museu Alvaro de Castro is also known as the Museum of Natural History today. It is perhaps one of Lourenco Marques most enduring landmarks, so easily recognized that the entire block where it is located is referred in normal conversation as Museu by the Laurentinos (residents of the city of Lourenco Marques).

Construction was completed in 1933, commissioned by the City Council of Lourenco Marques in the Neo-Manueline style of architecture which was unusual since by then art deco, streamline and the uniquely portugues suave were en vogue. Fortunately, very little has changed in its more than eighty years of existence and depending on one’s perspective that can be either good or bad.

As a property entirely patronaged by the State, having very little other purpose than being a museum, combined with the general disinterest of the African population to its contents, it has survived remarkably well and to the delight of many appreciate such things.


The main collection at the museum – Fuji Superia 200 simulated

The structure is relatively modest in a polygonal shape and distributed over two floors. The main collection of embalmed mammals is located immediately after the main entrance. It includes lions, buffalo, giraffes, elephants and other principle creatures one would expect to see in the African savanna. The second floor has collections of fish, reptiles and insets in glass display shelves.