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The Casa de Mateus Foundation was created in 1970 by D. Francisco de Sousa Botelho de Albuquerque, granting a donation for public service purposes of the architectural complex made up of the House, Chapel and Cellar Houses, a perimeter made up of historic gardens, orchards, vineyards and woodland and an extensive collection made up of archives, a library and museum collections.
The Foundation is a private institution with public service missions in the areas of heritage, culture, art, education and scientific promotion that presents itself as a hub of vibrant cultural activity in a low-density populated region of Portugal. Since its establishment in 1970, it has been developing a consistent cultural and artistic programme that is making it a important cultural pole in the city, the region and the country.
Its mission statement defines the preservation, restoration and improvement of the monument "Casa de Mateus", the study, cataloguing and promotion of the archive, as well as the production of artistic, cultural and educational activities that are consistent with its heritage. In 1971, it was recognised by decree of the Ministry of Education as a Public Utility Institution.
It is at the heart of its work that we find the crossroads between historical heritage, natural heritage, the arts and innovation, reinforcing the perception of the value of cultural tools and local action in order to overcome major global issues; or the intersection between cultural action, landscape and territory, with a view to sustainability, involving people and communities in the emerging thinking about new ways of relating with natural resources.
In December 1970, D. Francisco de Sousa Botelho de Albuquerque, 6th Count of Vila Real, 5th Count of Melo and 3rd Count of Mangualde, completed his greatest work: the institution of the Casa de Mateus Foundation, with the donation for public service purposes of the complex comprising the House, Chapel and Winery, a perimeter with historic gardens, orchards, vineyards and woodland and an extensive collection comprising archives, library and museum collections.
The Archive, an almost infinite collection of documents dating back to the 15th century, is the result of the family's zeal in safeguarding and processing information and the confluence of collections from successive new family ties that have been extended over time. It is, at the same time, a subject for permanent study by researchers and a source of knowledge and inspiration for interpreting the intangible heritage that the House carries.
The baroque matrix of the Casa de Mateus, built with the help of Nicolau Nasoni in the mid-18th century, provides one of the Foundation's most constant lines of programming. Created in 1978, the Casa de Mateus International Music Encounters were pioneers in the teaching and dissemination of ancient and baroque music in Portugal and contributed to strengthening the internationalisation of the Foundation's activities. Today, a constant programme in all styles, curious and prolific like the Baroque gesture, oriented towards the arts and thought, allows a wide range of visitors to enjoy a unique material and immaterial heritage, through a sense of participation in history or the discussion and formulation of ideas, educational action or music, literature, contemporary art...
Territory and Environment
The 21st century and the frontiers it heralds, in environmental, climate and health terms, but also in political, social, cultural and philosophical terms, in a context of digital transformation, have led the Foundation to develop, with the participation of different communities, the School of Transitions, a programme to study and formulate innovative practices in the fields of sustainability and just transition, anchored in the intersection between ancestral knowledge and the most advanced technologies, which are also light and shareable, inspired by the practices of open science and citizen science.
Teresa Margarida Gomez de Sousa Botelho de Albuquerque
Inês de Sousa Botelho de Albuquerque
Ana de Sousa Botelho de Albuquerque Paganini
Cornelius Martinus Marie Eijrond
Monday to Friday
9am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday
9am to 5:30pm
See & Listen