Special museums

From Buddha to Dino

Not only the Costa de Prata offers many historical buildings, there are also lots of interesting museums and sculpture parks. Often surprisingly modern and multimedial.

Indoor museums, open air exhibitions, excavations, you name it and its there. How about dinossaur footprints or the impressive Buddha Eden park?

The Portuguese Versailles is definitely worth a visit

Originally the palace was a hunting lodge, but in 1747 Dom Pedro III renovated it into a rococo palace, and he started using it as a summer palace. When he became king in 1760, Dom Pedro III ordered the enlargement of the palace. From 1794 the palace was permanently lived in, until the royal family moved to Brazil because of Napoleon's invasion.

Despite being far smaller, the palace is often referred to as the Portuguese Versailles.

Following a serious fire in 1934, which gutted the interior, the palace was extensively restored.

Both palace and gardens are open to the public.

 bullet1www.parquesdesintra.pt

 

Caldas da Rainha has a history of the artisanal and industrial production of ceramics. The colourful azulejos (tiles) are a good example. The history of ceramics in this town is also the 'raw material' for contemporary artists.

 

Ceramics workshops and museums:
 

  • Museu da Cerâmica: exhibition of an important collection of ceramics from the 16th to the 20th century. The museum is located in a beautiful villa, surrounded by gardens.
  • Casa Museu de São Rafael: exhibition of ceramics by the artist São Rafael, made by the Bordallo Pinheiro factory. www.bordallopinheiro.com
  • Atelier-Museu António Duarte: exhibition of work by of sculptor António Duarte (1912-1998)
  • Atelier-Museu João Fragoso: exhibition of work by sculptor João Fragoso (1913-2000)
     

Other museums:
 

  • Museu do Hospital e das Caldas da Rainha: museum on 5 centuries of medicinal springs, and the thermal hospital in Caldas da Rainha. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, carvings, clothing, furniture, ceramics, and medical / scientific instruments.
  • Museu Barata Feyo: exhibition of work by sculptor Barata Feyo (1899-1990)
  • Museu José Malhoa: exhibitions of paintings by José Malhoa (1855-1933), and work by other Portuguese artists
  • Espaço Concas: exhibition of paintings by Maria da Conceição Nunes, also known as Concas (1946-1991), in the Centro de Artes
  • Museu do Ciclismo: exhibition on cycling in Portugal

 

Hypermodern museum on bloody battle

In São Jorge (between Aljubarrota and Batalha) you can find the Battle of Aljubarrota Interpretation Centre, one of the most modern museums of Europe. By using advanced media it takes visitors back to the year 1385. There is an exhibition, an educational area, but also a shop, restaurant and picknick garden. And what about the “medieval machines activity park” with games and wooden machines which can be activated by visitors. A fun day out!

www.fundacao-aljubarrota.pt

Remarkable garden is place for reconciliation

The Buddha Eden Garden is an area of about 35 hectares designed and conceived by Comendador José Berardo in response to the destruction of the Giant Bamyan Buddhas, sculpted in the rocks of the valley of Bamyan in central Afghanistan and which had for centuries been a cultural and spiritual reference.

Comendador Berardo was profoundly shocked by the attitude of the Taliban Government, which intentionally destroyed these unique monuments of World Heritage, considered acts of cultural barbarism which attempted to erase from memory the art of the late Gandhara period.

In 2001, in response to this loss he initiated another of his dreams, the creation of an extensive oriental garden in honour of those colossal Buddhas.

It is intended that the Buddha Eden Garden is a place of reconciliation. Without any religious tendency, it opens its doors, to all people of all religion, ethnicity, nationality, sex, age, and socio-cultural background, inviting all to come together, to communicate and meditate, to rest and rediscover happiness. Hopefully people will follow a path contrary to the destruction of humankind and the dissemination of culture.