Museu Nacional Grão Vasco
Museums and Palaces
Founded in 1915 by Francisco de Almeida Moreira, who devoted much of his life to collecting Portuguese works of art, especially those that were representative of the best Portuguese modern and contemporary painters, the Grão Vasco Museum is housed in the Paço dos Três Escalões, the palace adjacent to the city’s cathedral.
Before entering the museum, you can form a good idea of the nobility of this Renaissance building by studying its discreet portico flanked by two fluted columns. The work of various high-ranking clergymen (perhaps dating back to the time of Dom João Gomes de Abreu, who was Bishop of Viseu between 1466 and 1482 and is buried in the cloister), the bishop’s palace also became the home of the Conciliar Seminary, based on the rules of the Council of Trent as laid down in 1563, which obliged all cathedrals to educate a certain number of young men. This building was only completed at the end of the 16th century.
The collection of objects and images originally intended for use in liturgical ceremonies (painting, sculpture, gold and silverware and objects made of ivory, from the Romanesque to the Baroque period) has been expanded to include some archaeological pieces, as well as some important examples of 19th-century Portuguese painting, Portuguese faience, Oriental porcelain and furniture.
The museum’s main collection consists of a remarkable group of paintings by Vasco Fernandes (c. 1475-1542), better known as the famous Grão Vasco, and his main collaborator, Gaspar Vaz.
10am - 1pm / 2am - 6pm (Tuesday to Sunday)
Closed: Monday and Public Holidays (1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 December)
- Visual impairment