It was built in 2002 an inaugurated on October 31, 2003 as an initiative of the Ecuadorian Foundation of the Sea (Fundemar, for its Spanish acronym) through an agreement with the Municipality of Guayaquil and the Siglo XXI Foundation in order to highlight the importance of the maritime activity of the city – port, which, since its beginnings, had the Guayas River as the main commercial way to contribute to the progress of Guayaquil.
The museum is an outdoor space located at the old “Polvorosa Fort” that was used to defend the city from the pirate attacks, for its privileged location at the top part of the Hill. A few years before, the place served to shoot blank cannons to celebrate the city’s festivities.
To commemorate naval history, the museum pays tribute to 4 personalities of the Ecuadorian Navy, which are represented in 4 busts: Captain Rafael Moran Valverde, Captain Rafael Andrade Lalama, General Thomas Charles Wright Montgomery and Admiral Juan Illingworth Hunt.
21 objects that date back to the XVI century and others from the modern era until the XX century. Among the relics there are replicas of the most representative vessels of our naval tradition, which were made of wood and were built at the shipyards of Guayaquil, like the replica of the bow of the vessel called ‘Jesus, Maria de la Limpia y Pura Concepcion de Nuestra Señora (1544-1654), built for the King of Spain; the replica of the stern of La Capitana ship and the anchor that belonged to the Cotopaxi, which later was named as the Gunboat Calderon, the largest and most impressive vessel built by the Spanish colonies of South America.
Among the navigational instruments there is an astrolabe, which was used to observe the height, location and movements of the stars and planets to navigate; others that served as tools to know the latitude of the vessel, a quadrant, a pressure calibrator and a ballestina used to calculate the height of the polar star; a sundial that marked the hours according to the inclination of the shadows through a horizontal bar; a lantern of Swedish fabrication that served as lighthouse along the coast and the Galapagos Islands from 1950 until 1970; as well as anchors, a telegraph and a reflector.
Several weapons and cannons can also be appreciated (originals and replicas), which were part of the military weaponry used between the XVI and XVII centuries to defend our country, as a cannon of 3.480 pounds and 30 pounds of ammunition built in 1865; another one built in 1709, the Gunboat Calderon that started to serve the Navy in 1886 and a wheeled cannon made of wood and built in 1875.
The remains of the fort called “La Polvorosa” are also in the Museum that was established in 1629 and was considered as the sole military defense point of Guayaquil against the pirate attacks. The central courtyard houses a sundial.