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Pio XII Museum

One museum, one story

The Pio XII Museum was founded in 1957 by Canon Luciano Afonso dos Santos, a curious man that having dedicated himself to excavations during many years, wound up collecting archaeological material that he kept in the Santiago Domus.

The Pio XII Museum was inaugurated on December 5th, 2002. Focused on archeology and sacred art, while telling the story of mankind since there are records, it’s organized chronologically by several eras. In fact, the museum is actually divided into three sections – the Pio XII Museum (permanent and temporary exhibitions), the Henry Medina Gallery (a practically independent gallery that brings together the work of the famous portraitist from Esposende after which it is named); and the Medieval Tower (which, having been built in 1372, belonged to the city’s medieval center and, thanks to its 40 meter height, it gives us a panoramic view of the city whose story is told along the Tower’s five floors) – which can be visited individually or as a whole (the entrance fee is more affordable when you include all three spaces).

Featured at the Pio XII Museum is a mosaic with perfectly preserved marine motifs (taken from the Santiago Domus lake, located next to the museum), the largest collection of hatchets in the Iberian Peninsula and the Roman Dolium.

The guided tour of the Pio XII Museum requires reservation, is adapted to the public and lasts about 30 minutes.

Cool Tip: In the museum entrance hall, every month you’ll find on display the "piece of the month", which allows visitors to see pieces that belong to the museum, but that are not usually part of the permanent exhibition.


Tue-Sun: 9.30 am - 12.30h pm I 2.30 pm - 6.00 pm