The Permanent Exhibition of the Museum offers to visitors a general characterisation of the Portuguese dictatorial regime (1926-1974), its means of oppression over the population (through Censorship and the repressive action of the political police and the political courts), the response of the opposition, semi-legal and clandestine, and also aspects of the anti-colonial struggle that induced the military to overthrow the regime through a military coup in 1974. On floor -1, visitors can still see part of the building structures where the Museum is housed and an archaeological exhibit raised from its subsoil.
the portuguese prison photo project provides an insight into seven portuguese contemporary prisons. From the largest and oldest dating back to the 1880s to the newest opened in 2004.
The images, captured by two photographers, a portuguese (Luís Barbosa) and a swiss (Peter M. Schulthess), show different approaches and perspectives and are complemented by historical images from the national archives.