The museum offers visitors a look at the history of the island through a great variety of archaeological and artistic pieces all while touring a convent (17th-18th centuries) with an interesting baroque courtyard.
The Museum of Minorca is located in the old convent of San Francisco, built (17th-18th centuries) on the ruins of an earlier one that was razed when the Turks attacked the city of Maó. In the 19th century, the building was remodelled and enlarged, although with the seizure and sale of Church property (1835) the Franciscans were forced to abandon it. The church, a single nave covered by rib-vaulted ceilings and side chapels, is not part of the museum. Movement through the exhibition rooms centres around the courtyard of the convent, one of the most noteworthy parts of the building, with its baroque and classical elements.
The predecessor to the current museum started (1889) in the Maó Main Guard building, and was called the Museum of Archaeology and Natural History. In 1978, after several changes in venue and enlarging its holdings with those from the Ateneo in Maó and the Commission of Excavations, among others, it was moved to its current site.
Even though the museum is mainly geared to the history of Minorca, especially the prehistoric period and the 18th century, other objects on display come from further abroad. Visitors will find Carthaginian, Greek and Islamic architectural pieces and ceramics as well as photographs, paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century.