Municipal Museum Of Penafiel: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Municipal Museum of Penafiel (in Portuguese, Museu Municipal de Penafiel) was inaugurated in March 2009 in the renovated Pereira do Lago Palace, in the historic center of Penafiel. And the following year, it was distinguished with the “Best Portuguese Museum Award” and nominated for the “European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA)”!

The collection of the Municipal Museum of Penafiel is divided into five permanent exhibition rooms, dedicated to the history and culture of the municipality – Identity Room, Territory Room, Archaeology Room, Crafts Room, and Earth and Water Room – with an extra room for temporary exhibitions!

So, do you want to know more about the Municipal Museum Of Penafiel: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023? Keep reading!

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Municipal Museum of Penafiel
Municipal Museum of Penafiel

Brief History of the Municipal Museum of Penafiel

As I mentioned in the introduction, the Municipal Museum of Penafiel occupies the Pereira do Lago Palace, a neoclassical building that was constructed in the second half of the 18th century. As far as is known, this noble house was built on the same site as the former residence of the Pereira do Lago family.

Interestingly, the property was the headquarters of the College of Our Lady of Mount Carmel between 1881 and 1929. From 1929 to 1956, the College of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was a dependency of Porto’s Almeida Garrett College and, from 1968 to 1976, of the National Lyceum.

How to Get to the Municipal Museum of Penafiel

It’s very easy to get to the Municipal Museum of Penafiel, as it’s located in the “heart” of the city. Even so, my recommendation is that you visit Penafiel on a day trip from Porto or on a road trip through the Porto district (or even through the Tâmega e Sousa region).

In that case, you can take the opportunity to discover some cities and towns in the vicinity: Paredes (5 km), Lousada (10 km), Marco de Canaveses (18 km), Paços de Ferreira (19 km), Castelo de Paiva (21 km), Felgueiras (24 km), Amarante (26 km), Valongo (26 km), Santo Tirso (33 km), Gondomar (34 km), and Baião (36 km).

Opening Hours & Ticket Prices

The Municipal Museum of Penafiel is open from Tuesday to Sunday (including holidays), from 10 am to 6 pm, with the last entry being at 5:30 pm. In addition to Mondays, the Municipal Museum of Penafiel is closed on the holidays of January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st, and December 25th.

As far as tickets are concerned, they cost €2 (normal fare) or €1 (reduced fare for students and people over 65), while children up to 14 years old don’t pay admission. And on Sundays, admission is free for everyone!

What to See at the Municipal Museum of Penafiel

Municipal Quilt (Room 1 or Identity Room)

The Municipal Quilt (in Portuguese, Colcha Municipal) is one of the most impressive pieces of the Municipal Museum of Penafiel. Of Indo-Portuguese origin, it consists of a huge silk fabric embroidered in gold and decorated with a series of plant motifs, which represent the “tree of life”.

The Municipal Quilt has been owned by the municipality of Penafiel since the 19th century, although it was built in the 18th century. And when King Manuel II visited the city, he nicknamed it “Rich Cloth” – as this was used to create the canopy of the monarch’s throne, in the Great Hall of the City Hall!

Saint George (Room 1 or Identity Room)

Saint George (in Portuguese, São Jorge) is a figure in polychrome wood, which was part of the Procession of the Corpus Christi of Penafiel between 1785 and 2000, the year in which it was replaced by the current figure of the Roman soldier and Christian martyr. Before 1785, the Catholic procession was performed with a human extra.

Commissioned by the Municipality of Penafiel, the figure of Saint George was acquired by local farriers and saddlers, who are still responsible for it today. And the saint is dressed and adorned with a suit, kilt, cape, and plumed helmet, besides a sword, shield, and banner.

“Olhómetro” (Room 2 or Territory Room)

The “Olhómetro” is a unique bionic machine, which attracts both children and adults. Designed specifically for the Municipal Museum of Penafiel, it’s a device that projects animations related to the territory of the municipality – hence its location in this room.

If you peek through one of the ten cones integrated into the “Olhômetro”, you’ll be able to explore the lands of Penafiel as if you were “flying”. This is one of the many interactive ways that the Municipal Museum of Penafiel found to make its history and heritage known in an original and creative way!

Galician Warrior Statue (Room 3 or Archaeology Room)

The Galician Warrior Statue (in Portuguese, Estátua de Guerreiro Galaico) is, in reality, a fragment of granite sculpture depicting a Galician warrior – not a complete statue. And this type of sculpture was very common at the time of castros and castro settlements, and it usually appeared next to their walls.

The Galician Warrior Statue is one of several dozens of archaeological artifacts found in the Castro of Monte Mozinho, which are currently on display at the Municipal Museum of Penafiel. For that reason, the Archaeology Room is really one of the most important of the entire visit!

Statuette of Mars (Room 3 or Archaeology Room)

This Statuette of Mars (in Portuguese, Estatueta de Marte) is a bronze sculpture of the god of war and guardian of agriculture in Roman mythology, who in Greek mythology was called Ares. Dating back to the 2nd-3rd centuries AD, it no longer has the spear in the right hand, nor even the left hand, which would wield a shield.

This Statuette of Mars was recovered in the Mount of Saint Bartholomew or Mount of Sameiro, in the parish of Penafiel. Nowadays, it’s on this hill that you can visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows and Holy Steps, popularly known as the Sanctuary of Sameiro!

Carpenter’s Bench (Room 4 or Crafts Room)

This Carpenter’s Bench (in Portuguese, Banco de Carpinteiro) comes from Santa Marta, a former parish in the municipality of Penafiel, which was extinguished in 2012/2013. Comprising a rectangular top, a press at the front, and legs reinforced by beams, it was the main workplace for carpenters in the region.

Carpentry is one of the most traditional crafts in Penafiel, and its contribution to the Feast of Corpus Christi has been known since the mid-17th century! Acclaimed for their versatility, local carpenters arranged pieces of furniture, built work tools, and helped with the construction of structures and buildings.

Rural Kitchen (Room 5 or Earth and Water Room)

This Rural Kitchen (in Portuguese, Cozinha Rural) intends to recreate the central space of the old Portuguese country houses – even though there are still many like this, especially in the villages of the interior of Portugal. It was in this place, always arranged around a fireplace, that people cooked, ate, received visitors, and spent time.

Another indispensable structure in every Rural Kitchen was the oven, used to bake bread (every week) or sponge cake (on feast days). In addition to crockery and kitchen utensils, various pieces of furniture fill the space: crockery, rocking cradle, benches and tables in stone or wood, etc.

Valboeiro (Room 5 or Earth and Water Room)

The Valboeiro is a type of boat characteristic of the Douro River, which served both as a fishing boat and as a cargo and transport passenger boat between the two banks. Another curious detail is that the Valboeiro was also capable of navigating the sea!

This model on display at the Municipal Museum of Penafiel dates from the end of the 19th century and came from Sebolido, a parish in the municipality of Penafiel. When it was active, it crossed between Cancelos (in Sebolido) and Midões (a village in the municipality of Castelo de Paiva)!

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