The Guarda Regional Museum was established in 1940 by the dynamism and commitment that it was its first director Dr. Ernesto Pereira, with clear objectives to preserve regional identity and consolidation of local regionalist movement.
During the municipal dependence, which lasted forty-three years, it failed to assert itself as a full museum institution. This aim would only become a reality from the moment that the then Regional Museum of Guarda, passed authority to the Portuguese Institute of Cultural Heritage. After two years of rehabilitation works it reopened in 1985 under the name Museum of Guarda.
The Guarda Museum mission is the study, conservation and dissemination of its various collections and the development of cultural extension activities that foster their ability to communicate, thus fulfilling their important public service tasks.
It views its projection as a museum institution of reference at the service of society and culture. Its values are the heritage preservation, cultural promotion, competence and excellence of its services.
It was founded on July 30, 1940, as part of local celebrations of the Centenary Celebrations with specific objectives of the regional culture dissemination. The Regional Guarda Museum for 43 years, under tutelage of municipal character, failed to achieve the purposes proposed in its creation. In fact, the absence of a museum plan, its own budget, space and qualified staff, conditioned, by far, the development of this museum unit.
At the opening to the public in 1940, the then Regional Museum of the Guarda had a small space and lacked estate of systematization. However, it was possible to gather a significant number of objects that allowed the opening of the institution, which was faced also with severe space limitations.
The inaugural exhibition, with about 400 parts, comprised different theme rooms: a painting gallery with oils, watercolors, pastel, drawing and engraving; a religious art room with pieces of sacred art, painting and sculpture in different materials, furnishings and vestments; a room with several pieces of ceramic, tin and copper objects. In the lobby and corridors were exposed archaeological pieces, diverse furniture and numismatics. The only structured collection in chronological and typological terms was the contemporary painting.
To carry out this event, designed by the lawyer and politician Ernesto Pereira, helped the commitment of the artist Eduarda Lapa, either by donating some of his works, either with their commitment and dynamism in the meeting of the contemporary painting collection, with presence of some of the best national artists.
In addition to Ernesto Pereira and painter said, is to highlight the contribution of some individuals, such as Theodosius Ferreira, also a painter, Alfredo Philip lawyer and patron of this institution and Carlos Martins, professor and numismatic collector.
The only event that over the years was designed with a cultural impact occurred in 1942 and it was a sacred art exhibition. Looking conduct a survey of the artistic and cultural heritage of the district with the aim of safeguarding encouraged to his presentation at the Museum.
The current museum detail
The results were not anticipated because the institution failed, thereby increasing their collections. In the fifties, in an attempt to spoil the organization, patrons’ names or patrons to the rooms were assigned by focusing on them the works of authorship, in the case of painters, or collections, in the case of donors. The rooms Eduarda Lapa, Theodosius Ferreira, Henrique Eduardo Pimenta and Malta were museum graphical example of this innovation, however, few benefits contributed to the museum discourse.
Later, in the early sixties, since under the tutelage of the District Council of the Guarda, the physical space of the museum has been expanded, making it possible to increase the exhibition area, as well as doubling the number of exhibits. During this period, the Museum’s collection sees enrich its collection with the acquisition of works of art, with Antonio Moura donation of a collection of armory and part of the estate of the poet Augusto Gil. As a result, the number of rooms increased patronization and was also at this time that Dr. Alfredo Filipe room was then created lending itself homogenous and recognition of the contribution and dedication that this has always shown to the institution.
Museum after refurbishment
The current Museum of the Guarda is heir to the Regional Guarda Museum.
Indeed, in 1983, this institution underwent a major refurbishment with a view to the effective discharge of its museum function, through the intervention of the Cultural Heritage Portuguese Institute in the implementation of a new policy inserted in the Plan National Museological, which meant qualification the museum fabric of the country. It opened to the public on June 24, 1985, under the name Museum of the Guarda and technical and administrative dependence of that Institute. Besides the increase of facilities, the definition of its objectives, assigning a budget and a staff, the museum plan, according to the concept of region museum, aimed at the promotion and dissemination of the Guarda’s Museum, and allowed this passed to a new role particularly in the context of their social, cultural and educational provision, where affirmation as a representative of the district authority.
The ensemble consists of the buildings of the former Seminary and Bishop’s Palace constitutes itself as the most significant and emblematic building of the Modern period in the city of Guarda. Symbol of power and religious authority of the time and under the sponsorship of Philip II, has seen it’s historical, cultural and its architectural and urban cohesion recognized through the property status of public interest by Decree Law 28/82 of 26 February.
The Museum Guarda is installed in the building of the former Episcopal Seminary work of D. Nuno de Noronha, who ruled between 1594 and Egitaniense Diocese in 1608.
The Tridentine Seminary of the Guarda was built outside the walled belt, the slope this, place where the city announced since then, the future urban growth. The architectural complex of religious nature, which is an integral part of the Bishop’s Palace, was structuring in the development of the urban fabric of the city. Built in the first decades of the seventeenth century, during the Philippine domain at the expense of the Diocese in accordance with the provisions of the Council of Trent, a condition that forever was expressed in the existing inscription on the lintel of the main entrance is part of the point Architectural view, the aesthetic movement of the Counter-Reformation. Reveals in terms of stylistic affiliations, classic classical influences and whose specific fit planetary U-shaped, the resulting inner courtyard and the structural use of the round arch on the ground floor plan.
The cultural context of the Counter – Reformation and the Council of Trent indicated an architectural purism that George Kubler set in 1988 by plain style. This style, which cuts right through the seventeenth and eighteenth century, was characterized by a constructive expression marked by an inherited sobriety of military architecture and the constraints imported by religious situation (Miguel Soromenho, 1995).
Decorative stripping alia to the stringent rules of functional organization of the educational institution was also established. Indeed, rare ornaments concern ace tubular gargoyles, stone church of weapons and two inscriptions; the lintel of the main portal “NONIVS HOS ADITVS MVSARVM / INSTRVXIT IN VSVS Pontificis / LABOR EST PIERIDVM AVE DOMVS” (Nónio built these access of the Muses. The work is to pontiff’s use. Hail, Mansion of puérides) and South Cunhal the main façade, predating the stone Episcopal weapons, “D.Nuno de Noronha Bishop Guarda Son of Earl D Odemira, this institution Seminar and Began in 1601 Anno”.
The building where it is installed the Museum of Guarda has a formal and decorative sobriety of clean lines, flat surfaces and clear where their own frames of the openings are slightly protruding and the pillars have an absolutely structural function. This sobriety is accentuated by the masonry of rectangular granite blocks, arranged in a row, which makes the remarkable property for its vast proportions.
The building is organized thus largely around an austere courtyard, predictably, it has been a landscaped garden.
The structural and decorative use of the round arch is revealed in the access to the inner courtyard, in the longitudinal arch interior of the ground floor (although with poor constructive rigor) and the side door of the south elevation. The distribution pathways and access to the interior of the building will make up the four ports would, of contemporaneous construction and identify the respective angles of the inner courtyard. The transition zone covered between the public road and the building through the main entrance, only recently started to have the function assigned before those doors.
Over the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century’s was the subject of several interventions that have caused architectural changes especially in terms of gaps and flatness of the inner courtyard. It is certainly, as a result they are now identifiable various types of openings and some epitaphs throughout the building.
The campaign works intended to remodel and enlarge the Museum of the Guarda, 1982-85, creating a comprehensive and unique museological space, did away with the main body of the entire internal structure.
The Museum’s collection is made up of collections of archeology, numismatics, religious sculpture of the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries, religious painting from the sixteenth to eighteenth and armory of the seventeenth to the twentieth. We also found pottery, photography, regional ethnography, painting and final design of the nineteenth century and 1st half of the twentieth century.
They deserve particular attention: two swords from the Bronze Age, one fibula Hispanic undo the centuries V / VI. C., Roman numismatic collection and an Imperial Roman torso of the second century; in sculpture, polychrome XIII century granite, representing Nossa Senhora of Consolation, the Annunciation Altar sixteenth century and stalls backs of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries; the weapons collection includes pieces from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, documenting the evolution of the armory; in painting designs found Carlos Reis, Antonio Carneiro, Columban oils, Eduarda Lapa, Almeida e Silva and João Vaz, among others; ethnographic collections allow a reading of the main economic activities of the region.
If the Museums, its specific functions, are privileged spaces of reflection and understanding of heritage and cultural issues, the exhibits are moments of excellence.
The Museum Guarda particularizes this medium. In assuming this role provides, in an effective way, dialogue with the community performing temporary exhibitions as part of its collections, regional and national history, and still within the framework of international celebrations.
But there are others in which it is intended to allow the city and to the region approaches ace modern languages and aesthetic currents. In this perspective it has been several temporary exhibitions that were associated conferences, debates and workshops attended by the authors of the works presented.
The educational service of the Guarda Museum was created in 1985.
As part of the museum’s duties as “intervening agent in permanent and plural education community, helping to build the future,” the educational service establishes a bridge between the museum and the public.
With the main objective the dissemination of the Museum and its collections to the educational service projects aim also facilitate the enjoyment of the object, encourage discovery, appeal to the imagination and creativity, contribute to the formation of the critical sense, share knowledge and create and public loyalty.
The educational service program consists of diverse cultural and educational animation activities, directed to the school community (the different levels of education) and the general public. The museum’s public part in particular charities, especially schools and hospitals (Department of Psychiatry).