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.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.