Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior Museum is, without a doubt, an excellent starting point to discover the city and the region of Castelo Branco. Founded in 1910, the basis of this museum is the archaeological collection of Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior, but it has been increased with ancient art pieces from the Episcopal Palace collection and continual additions from archaeological collections, religious garments and embroidered bedspreads from the Vilhena collections. This is, quintessentially, the place where you can re-experience the origins and History of this Beirã city.
Made in embroidered linen and natural silk strings, Castelo Branco bedspreads are not just an essential part of the trousseau of any girl in the region. They are a symbol of the city and of Portuguese tradition. Dating back to the 16th century and undeniably inspired by Oriental culture, the embroidery is known for its bright colours and the scenes it portrays. From the centre of the bedspread – which is usually a medallion, a label or a panel – to the bars and the field, the famous bedspreads show engaged couples, birds, flowers and other vegetal themes painted in ink over the linen and then embroidered using long stich. If you want to know everything about this typical Portuguese symbol, visit the Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior Museum where, apart from an exhibition centre, there is a bedspread manufacture training school which sells its products to the public. Come and discover Castelo Branco’s bedspreads at their best!
Built during the 18th century at the initiative of the Bishop of Castelo Branco, D. João de Mendonça, this is one of the most beautiful Baroque gardens in Portugal. With flower beds, water games, staircases and countless statues representing the signs of the Zodiac, seasons, months and Portuguese monarchs, the Episcopal Palace Garden is a nice place to walk and relax right next to the old Episcopal Palace where nowadays the Francisco Tavares Proença museum is established.
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00-12:30; 14:00-17:30.Closes on Monday