Museu de Lamego
Museum in Lamego
The episcopal palace, a stunning edifice, has been converted into one of the most meticulously maintained museums in inland Portugal. Visiting this museum offers a dual pleasure: not only do visitors have the opportunity to explore the grand and austere beauty of an old palace, but they can also immerse themselves in the vast array of the museum’s collections.
Of particular interest are the paintings of Vasco Fernandes, also known as Grão Vasco, and the collection of Flemish tapestries. In the early sixteenth century, Bishop D. João Madureira of Lamego commissioned a large altarpiece from Grão Vasco to decorate the cathedral chancel. Though 20 panels were initially painted, only five have survived to this day and are exhibited at the museum: the Creation of the Animals, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Presentation of the Infant Jesus at the Temple, and the Circumcision. These panels showcase some of the finest creative works in sixteenth-century Portuguese art.
The museum’s tapestries, also from the same era as Grão Vasco’s paintings, were manufactured in Brussels and used by nobles and clergy to enhance their palaces’ interior and comfort. Among the exhibits is a tapestry alluding to the Judgement in Paradise, a gorgeous composition entitled the Temple of Latone, illustrated with mythological episodes of the goddess Latone, and four tapestries depicting the tragic story of Oedipus, the most tragic episode in Greek mythology.
The ground floor of the museum features a series of rooms dedicated to archaeology, showcasing medieval tombs, a stunning medieval cross, and several stones bearing the coats of arms of Portuguese families, among other exhibits.
The four chapels that were once part of the Chagas Convent and have been entirely reconstructed inside the museum also deserve attention. These chapels present Portuguese Baroque art at its most innovative.
Furthermore, the museum’s collections of Portuguese and Indo-Portuguese furniture, various ceramic pieces, including some seventeenth-century azulejo panels, gold and silver jewellery, and a rich collection of religious vestments are also worth exploring.
Visiting Museu de Lamego
10am -6pm (Tuesday to Sunday)