Alberto Sampaio Museum
Museum in Guimarães
Established in 1928, the Alberto Sampaio Museum was created to house the art and various artifacts belonging to the former Collegiate Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, as well as other churches and convents in Guimarães. The museum is located in the heart of the old historic centre of the city, which has been designated as a World Heritage site, on the spot where the Countess Mumadona ordered the construction of a monastery in the 10th century.
The museum encompasses three sections that once formed part of the Collegiate Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira: the Chapter House, the Cloister, and the Priory. The Cloister is an atypical example of Portuguese architecture, both in the way it was built around the church apse and in its irregular shape.
The Alberto Sampaio Museum boasts an assortment of fascinating collections. Notably, there is a sculpture exhibition comprised of statues from the 13th to the 18th century, carved from both limestone and wood. The woodcarving collection includes a 17th-century altarpiece that belonged to the Brotherhood of St. Peter and the baroque supports from the church of the Convent of Santa Clara are particularly noteworthy. There are also some extraordinary frescoes and painted panels on display, representing painting. The ceramics section includes tiles and faience, while the textile section contains ecclesiastical vestments and an important assortment of cloth samples.
One of the museum’s most distinguished pieces is the tunic worn by Dom João I during the Battle of Aljubarrota. Lastly, the diverse collection of gold and silverware includes the treasury of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira: a collection of liturgical instruments (chalices, patens, monstrances, crosses, and reliquaries) dating from the 12th to the 19th century.
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