The Pius XII Museum belongs to the Archdiocese of Braga and is located within the building of the Conciliar Seminary of São Pedro and São Paulo, with its main entrance facing the street named Campo de Santiago..
It was founded in 1957, as an initiative of Canon Luciano Afonso dos Santos, a pastor who dedicated a significant part of his life to archeology and the collection of religious art. His interest in archaeology led him to discover the ruins of a Roman “domus” in the centre of the Seminary’s cloister.
In 1984, the museum was enriched with a collection of paintings and drawings by Henrique Medina, perhaps the greatest portrait painter of the 20th century. The artist wanted to leave his estate to the Archdiocese of Braga while he was still alive. The collection is being enriched with new items.
Renovated in 2002, the museum became equipped with the best conditions for presenting its collections…
The Pius XII Museum has three sections: the permanent collection, under the theme: ‘A light shone in the darkness’ (telling the history of humanity, from the time when hominids were first known to walk the earth to the present day); the Henrique Medina Gallery; and the Medieval Tower.
Along with the three permanent sections, the Pius XII Museum has two rooms for temporary exhibitions and cultural activities and one room for educational services.
The Pius XII Museum guided visit, which must be booked, is adapted to the public and can last between 30 minutes and an hour and a half, according to the visitor’s choice.
The Pius XII Museum is also in charge of (entrusted with) the Gallery of Archbishops, situated within the gardens of the Bishops’ Palace, where a collection of portraits of the Bishops and Archbishops of Braga, from the origins of the Church to the present day, is on display.