The exterior of the mansion housing the museum
A baroque-inspired mansion from 1925, facing the Botanical Garden, was home to Fernando Bissaya Barreto, a Coimbra University professor, politician, philanthropist, and art collector. It’s now a beautiful museum, displaying a collection of decorative arts, naturalist paintings, sculptures, and Chinese porcelain.
Many of the pieces were bought from artists and artisans of the region, while others were collected around Portugal and other countries over a period of 50 years.
Among the highlights is also a series of tile panels from the 1700s, many of which decorate the elegant garden dotted with stone and bronze sculptures.
The aqueduct next to the museum
Barreto was the man responsible for the creation of the Portugal dos Pequenitos theme park across the river, which is now one of Coimbra’s most popular attractions.
Before or after a visit to the museum, take some time to admire the aqueduct outside and to visit the Botanical Garden. At the center of a roundabout next to the aqueduct is a monument to Pope John Paul II, which faces Rua Alexandre Herculano, a street that leads to a square (Praça da República) faced by another of the city’s main green spaces, the Jardim da Sereia.
How to Get to the Bissaya Barreto Museum
Walk down Rua Larga from the university and continue down the hill, where you’ll see the arches of the aqueduct and the museum across the road from the botanical garden.
Rua Infantaria 23, 312
Admission and Tickets to Bissaya Barreto Museum
Tickets are €2.50.
It opens from 11am to 1pm and then 3pm to 6pm on weekdays, and from 3pm to 6pm on weekends. It's closed on Mondays throughout the year and also on weekends from October to April.