In 1861, the Carrancas Palace was acquired by King Pedro V to become the official residence of the royal family during their visits to the north of the country and was remodelled.
In 1915, it was donated to Misericórdia through the will of King Manuel II, who wanted to build a hospital there, but this never materialised. Later, the State bought the palace to house the Soares dos Reis National Museum, which had been founded in 1833 and was housed in the Santo António Convent, now the Porto Municipal Public Library.
The Carrancas Palace was again remodelled for its new function and in 1940 the Soares dos Reis National Museum, the oldest public art museum in Portugal, was inaugurated here.
Between 1992 and 2001, the building underwent a series of major refurbishments by architect Fernando Távora. Outside there is a patio with pink walls and tiles that gives way to the garden in the centre of the building. The green space with lawn is fully emphasised by the camellias.