The Hospital Ship Gil Eannes, built in Viana do Castelo in the shipyards of Viana do Castelo, began operating as a hospital in 1955, supporting for decades, the Portuguese cod fishing fleet which operated on the banks of Newfoundland and Greenland. Off the cod fleet, was rotting on the docks of Lisbon, for many years.
In 1998, Gil Eannes Foundation, considering the cultural and emotional heritage of the city, rescued it from the scrap for about 250,000 euros, after an unprecedented campaign involving all Viennese social strata.
On January 31, 1998, it was festively received in Foz do Lima, where, after being cleaned and restored, it was opened to the public, assuming itself as a pole of attraction to Viana do Castelo.
The reconversion has transformed it into a museological space, integrating exhibition halls and meeting rooms.