Located in the historic centre of the city, the former Bank of Portugal building has housed the Costume Museum since 2004. Here you can appreciate the ethnographic wealth of the traditional costumes of Viana. The exhibits also include the tools used to produce the handmade garments, alongside the permanent exhibitions A lã e o linho no traje do Alto Minho (Wool and linen in Alto Minho garments), Traje à Vianesa (Viana’s traditional dress) and Oficina do Ouro (Gold Workshop).

The Costume Museum organises a great many temporary exhibitions on the theme of Viana’s traditional dress and ethnography.



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Founded: 2004
Category: Museums in Portugal

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Clara Correia (6 months ago)
Interesting bits of history and culture here. Many costumes and professions to be seen and discovered. There are two levels and a tiny gold museum too.
Lidia Aroucha Dos Santos (6 months ago)
It was an amazing experience. The museo tells the history of traditional clothe that people used in the past at the Minho Region. It tells the story behind the colors, the embroidery, why they used in some occasions. Seeing the beauty of each piece and how was made step by step. Great job! It's free you don't pay to enter. Next time in Viana do Castelo take time to see that place.
Patrick Denby (7 months ago)
Never conceived that thisight be interesting... Well laid out, interesting translations.
Anna Minaeva (2 years ago)
Must see #1 of Viviana I enjoyed every little bit of this museum. 95% is translated to English. There are exactly as many words as needed to feel the exhibitions. It is a very entertaining way to get acquainted with the region and its traditions. I was especially surprised by the exposition about making decorative things from gold - I would never imagine it can be so interesting and beautiful and I would spend half an hour in a room of 8 m2. I have also greatly enjoyed the temporal exhibition about a lady Fado singer from XX century, very inspiring and well organised exhibition, as well as the entire museum. Greatly reccommend.
Luis (2 years ago)
Still not sure if worth it or not. Didn't impress me so much...
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.