Camellias in the painting collection and in the Museum Garden

28 de February, 2024

Next weekend (March 2 and 3), São Roque Park will once again be the venue for another edition of the Porto Camellia Exhibition. In association with the event that pays homage to Porto’s most popular flower, the Soares dos Reis National Museum is presenting a selection of works depicting camellias from its painting collection.


From António José da Costa’s ‘Vase with Camellias’, to Alberto Aires de Gouveia’s ‘Still Life’ and Henrique Pousão’s ‘Flowers’, the Museum also has the Camellia Garden, located in the center of the Carrancas Palace.


Known as the “queens of winter”, camellias bloom in the coldest season of the year and also “lend” their color to the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

The Carrancas Palace began to be built in 1795. 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 remodeled.


In 1915, it was donated to Misericórdia through the will of King Manuel II, who wanted to build a hospital there, but this never came to happen. 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 remodeled 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 renovations by architect Fernando Távora. Outside, there is a patio with pink walls and tiles that gives way to a garden sheltered by the building’s walls. The green space with lawns gives full prominence to the camellias.