Soares dos Reis National Museum

Porto, Portugal

Soares dos Reis National Museum is the first Portuguese national museum exhibiting collections of Portuguese art, including a collection by Portuguese sculptor António Soares dos Reis, from which the museum derives its name.

The museum was founded in 1833 as Museum Portuense by King Peter IV. Initially it was housed in the Convent of Santo António (in the centre of Porto), exhibiting religious art confiscated from Portuguese convents, and those works of art expropriated from the absolutist followers of Miguel I (who had struggled against Peter IV a year before).

During the 19th century the museum made several acquisitions that were integrated into the main collection.

But, it was in 1911 that the museum obtained its collection of work by Soares dos Reis, a celebrated Portuense sculptor, taking on the name of its benefactor.

In 1942 the museum was transferred from the centre of the city to the former-residence of the Moraes e Castro family, known commonly as the Carrancas (which means scowlers/frowners, a passing reference to the disapproving nature of its members). The large building provided the spaces and conditions to store and exhibit the collections. Over time, the spaces were expanded and modernised under a project by architect Fernando Távora.


The museum has a vast collection mainly focused on Portuguese art of the 19th and 20th centuries, including painting, sculpture, furniture, metalwork and ceramics.

Artists represented include painters Domingos Sequeira, Vieira Portuense, Augusto Roquemont, Miguel Ângelo Lupi, António Carvalho de Silva Porto, Marques de Oliveira, Henrique Pousão, Aurélia de Souza, Dórdio Gomes, Júlio Resende and sculptors Soares do Reis, Augusto Santo, António Teixeira Lopes, Rodolfo Pinto do Couto and many others.



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Founded: 1833
Category: Museums in Portugal


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tanemara Galea (6 months ago)
I enjoyed this museum and staff were polite and helpful. Amazing art work and sculpture. Also it’s located in a nice area with lots to see after you visit.
Ann K (7 months ago)
Small museum with beautiful pieces of art and some very impressive sculptors. We got a beautiful experience for a really low price.
Janna Janna (7 months ago)
Exelente permanent exposition. One big issue is very bad light solutions... my eyes were soooo tired. Perhaps this is about better conservation... You may take a break in the wonderful Kamelia's Garden, get some snacks and coffee in their bar.
Mark Hanna (8 months ago)
Exceeded my expectations after starting the visit with the poorly maintained elevated courtyard, whereby I was then followed for several minutes because I hadn't put my bag in a locker (free of charge). The art itself is fascinating. You know it's well curated when you feel you don't want to miss any room / piece of art, so you end up double checking and looping the opposite way. It was very quiet on a Sunday afternoon and apparently residents get in for free at this time. Could be an even better gallery with some more investment in the gardens and a place / cafe for refreshments.
Imo Love (9 months ago)
The museum is truly a sight to behold and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Portugal. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable and the exhibits were diverse and engaging. It was an enjoyable experience and I will definitely be returning. The staff were so welcoming and I was particularly impressed by the fact that they allowed me to get a student discount even though I was not a student in Portugal. The museum has a stunning range of art from different eras and cultures, and I was able to spend an entire day there. It was truly a wonderful experience.
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