Museum of Portuguese Music – Casa Verdades de Faria Estoril

HIDDEN AWAY from the busy centres of Estoril and Cascais is the Museum of Portuguese Music – Museu da Musica Portuguesa – Casa Verdades de Faria.  Built by Jorge O’Neill in 1918 it was known as St Patrick’s Tower.  It was an homage to the Irish Patron saint.

Jorge O’Neill was born in Lisbon in 1848.  A descendant of the Irish Royal Family – King of Ulster, Prince of Tyrone and Clannaboy and Count of Tyrone.  He received awards of Grand Officer from various orders and the Knight of Honour of the Order of Malta.

Raul Lino and the architecture

O’Neill bought the land in Monte Estoril.  With the architect Raul Lino he set out building the tower. After adding to the original design including the construction of a two-storey cloister the house resembled a small palace.

You can see tiles showing scenes of hunting and the life of St Anthony. Tiles came from palaces and chapels from around the country.  The stone used in the construction is typical of this area.  Local artisans worked on the various structures which include intricate designed pillars and doorways.  There is a two-storey cloister in the centre before the stone staircase. It leads into the garden.  A  narrow staircase leads to the top of the tower. There are spectacular views of Estoril, Cascais, the sea and Sintra hills.  The grounds are rich with trees and shrubs to the north.  A romantic-style garden is to the south. This occupies an area of about 12,000sqm. There are winding and interconnecting paths on the slopes and tiled benches.

Enrique Mantero Belard of Spanish descent bought the house in the mid-twentieth century. His wife, Gertrudes Verdades de Faria, was a great collector and supporter of the cultural arts.  It was through her influence that her husband became interested in the arts.

Belard left the house to the Cascais Town Council. He specificied   that the house be a museum and gardens opened to the public. He requested it be named Verdades de Faria in honour of his wife.

The Museum of Music

The property houses the Museum of Regional Portuguese Music. It  has a collection of traditional musical instruments, books, recordings and documents. The town Council acquired the collection of instruments from Michel Giacommeti, the ethno-musicologist, in 1981.  His library was added to the Museum.

 

 

 

 

In 1994 in his will the Portuguese composer Fernando Lopes Graça left his estate to the Cascais Town Council. The collection includes documents, books, photographs, records and his pianos.

The Museum is open to visitors.   Located at Av. Sabóia, No. 1146, Monte Estoril. Tel: +351-21-4815904. Open: Tues-Sun: 10am-6pm. Closed Monday.

Updated  April 2023