National Gardens Day celebrates the experience of these spaces

25 de May, 2024

National Gardens Day, marked on 25 May, aims to celebrate “the importance and experience of these spaces, as well as the legacy of Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles in protecting the environment, defending the landscape and promoting citizens’ quality of life”.


Landscape architect Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, a pioneering figure in landscape architecture in Portugal, died on 11 November 2020 in Lisbon, aged 98. Born on 25 May 1922 in Lisbon, Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles was the author of several important projects.


At the Soares dos Reis National Museum, housed in the Carrancas Palace, you can enjoy two garden areas, the Camellia Garden and the Rainha D. Amélia Velodrome Garden.

In the Camellia Garden, located in the centre of the building and accessed from the riding arena, you can see various species of Camellia.


In the Rainha D. Amélia Velodrome Garden, which is the result of a landscaping project by the architect Fernando Távora, you can see a significant part of the Lapidary collection, as well as material memories of the Rainha D. Amélia Velodrome, inaugurated in 1894.


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 garden inside 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 renovated.


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 once again adapted 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 a garden sheltered by the building’s walls. The green space with lawns gives full prominence to the camellias.