Former granary belonging to the Cabido (community of clergy) from the Sé of Évora, the building that houses the Collection of Carriages was acquired by Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida in 1959, with a view to its integration into the built structure of Páteo de São Miguel and temporarily host there the Sociedade Recreativa e Dramática Eborense that for decades had occupied the noble halls of Paço de São Miguel.
Open to the public since 1998, and subject to requalification between 2011 and 2012, the Collection of Carriages, displays the trailers and travel utilities that were found at the service of House Eugénio de Almeida between the second half of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century.
Acquired from the major European manufacturers, the carriages arrived in Lisbon, on sailboats and steamboats, ready to use or assemble in destination, on a piece by piece basis. The luxurious refinement of finishes, the elegance in the presentation of the horses, also brought from France, Antwerp or England, the laborious detail of harnesses and coupling devices, the aplomb of the coachman and the footman, or the costs associated with the acquisition and maintenance of the carriages, constituted a clear manifestation of the social status of its occupants in the nineteenth-century city.
Settled in Lisbon, it is in this universe that the Eugénio de Almeida family moves, and of which, the carriages and the "social journeys" to which they gave colour were another of its manifold manifestations.
From the end of the 19th century onwards, and especially the early years of the 20th century, the use of coaches began to be gradually replaced by the car, which was more comfortable and above all, faster.
In the case of the Eugénio de Almeida family, the transition between the two worlds began in 1907 with the acquisition of the first car. The stables, located in Santa Gertrudes Park an integral part of Palácio de São Sebastião da Pedreira, in Lisbon, then undergo the first works of adaptation to be converted into “car gare”, while the "outdated" carriages are dispatched via the railways for the family properties in Évora.
Decades later, when the carriages were barely evocations of the past recorded in family albums, progress once again brought back to the vertigo of history a new world conflict. With World War II, there was also the revelation that it was necessary to restrict the use of fuels, now fundamental on the battlefields, where the struggle was also mechanized.
Rationing was imposed worldwide. With empty deposits, the old carriages were soon to be rescued from the diaphanous cloak of time. The harnesses, the horsewhips, and the glow of the lanterns, now fed by batteries, again coloured the streets, squares, and avenues, to the sound of the horses and the carriage wheels.
After the war the situation changed rapidly, proving that automobiles were irreversible. Although they have been set aside, the family carriages have never been neglected, just as the objects that are fundamental to its use, and the importance of its preservation and restoration is assumed, which allows us today in the 21st century to enjoy this collection in the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation
Address: Páteo de S. Miguel - Largo Mário Chicó
Phone: 266 748 343
June - September
Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm | 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
July and August - open at lunch time
October to May
Monday to Sunday from 10h00-12h30 | 1:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.