Paço dos Duques

Majestic 15th century manor house, built by D. Afonso – future Duke of Bragança, bastard son of King João I – which served as his residence and his second wife, D.Constança de Noronha. Large palace with architectural characteristics of fortified house, roofs of strong slopes and numerous cylindrical chimneys that denote the influence of the seigniorial architecture of Northern Europe, it is a unique example in the Iberian Peninsula.

The sixteenth century marks the beginning of progressive abandonment and consequent ruin that worsened until the twentieth century. The rebuilding of the palace began in 1937 and lasted until 1959, when it is open to the public and transformed into a museum whose estate dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Of the existing collections, it stands out for its valuable contribution to the history of the Portuguese Discoveries, the set of four copies of the Pastrana tapestries whose design is attributed to the painter Nuno Gonçalves (15th century), which narrates some of the steps of the northern conquests of Africa, namely Arzila and Tangier.

The originals were sent to perform in Tournai, in century XV by the Portuguese king D. Afonso V meeting today in Spain. The (single) copies were acquired by the Portuguese State in 1957 and executed in Spain by the Real Fábrica de Tapices de Madrid. We also find the core of Flemish tapestries, namely those that were executed according to Pieter Paul Rubens, whose themes are episodes of the life of a Roman Consul.

These tapestries are notable for draperies and shadow games. The collection of Portuguese furniture from the post-discoveries period is also part of the Museum’s collection, and it is worth mentioning the collection of accountants, from Indo-Portuguese, to Mudejar-style Hispano-Arabs, to beautiful Spanish bargeos.

To adorn the furniture we have a large collection of porcelains from the Company of the Indies, and Portuguese faience of the main factories of the time: Prado, Viana, Rocha Soares and Rato. In one of the rooms are exposed some of the weapons that were gathered by the second Viscount of Pindela, and later acquired by the Portuguese state, whose collection includes several examples of white arms, fire and armor elements from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The building is classified as a National Monument.