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Camellia Garden in bloom at the Museum - Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis
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Camellia Garden in bloom at the Museum

21 de November, 2023

In the Camellia Garden, located in the centre of the Carrancas Palace, you can see several species of Japoneira, which are already starting to bloom. Known as the “queens of winter”, camellias bloom in the coldest season of the year and bring colour to the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

The Carrancas Palace began to be built in 1795. Its design is attributed to the architect Joaquim da Costa Lima Sampaio, who worked on the construction of the Hospital de Santo António, by the Englishman John Carr, and the Feitoria Inglesa, by John Whitehead.

 

The project divided the property into three main areas: a residence, a gardenin the centre of the building and a cultivation area at the back.

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.