Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha is in the middle of Leiria and Lisbon, its centrality make Caldas da Rainha one of the biggest point of trade, cultural and social meetings. From Leiria it only takes 50 kilometers and from Lisbon takes 80 kilometers to get to Caldas da Rainha.

While, the black plague devastated Lisbon, the Queen D. Leonor travelled to Óbidos, with her cortege, and one day the queen witnessed poor bathe themselves in the sulfur waters, under inhumane circumstances that affected the queen. To remember this place, the queen ordered the construction of a hospital, for those who bathe felt more comfortable.

The foundation of Caldas da Rainha has a cultural meaning, since the Queen D. Leonor chose this place for the development of her cultural projects and to protect the artists and their pieces – this is preserved in the historical-cultural values of the Queen D. Leonor.

Around the Royal Hospital of Caldas, a small town settled and grown, until in 1511 was considered a village, receiving the blessing of the King D. Manuel, upon request of D. Leonor. Later Caldas da Rainha was well known for its thermal waters, reaching its apogee in the late XIX century and early XX century. In the 11th of august of 1927, Caldas da Rainha became a city.

The geographic position of Caldas da Rainha, gives it the privilege of being in the center of the cultural and tourist circuits, and also promoting different and diverse activities.

The true genesis of Caldas da Rainha is the Hydrotherapy, granting an urban and trade dynamic, that allowed the development other traditional aspects just as the ceramic industry and the agricultural production, where the farmers sell their merchandise in the daily market.

In the coast line, geomorphologic processes made possible the two entrances, with a great environmental and touristic value, as São Martinho and the Óbidos Lagoon, in Foz do Arelho.


The first thought associated with the city of Caldas da Rainha, is its thermal waters, the whole genesis and essence of this city comes from hydrotherapy. Along the historic city center is possible to travel through the centuries when the city was developing as demand for its waters, so beloved by Queen Dona Leonor.

Born in 1458 and past away in 1525, Queen Dona Leonor is remembered for her actions of caring and assistance to the needy and cultural initiatives. It was she who created the first thermal hospital in Caldas da Rainha and the Misericórdia of Lisbon, to help those who needed it most, and in the case of culture, she protected Gil Vicente and Damião de Góis, by supporting the arts and media and being responsible for the press release and translated the works of Christine de Pisan, the mirror Cristina (1518), considered as the beginning of the feminist movement. The Queen was also devoted to religious initiatives as the foundation of convents of the Madre Deus and the Anunciada.

In the summer of 1484, the Queen D. Leonor took refuge in Óbidos, to ward off the disease spreading to Lisbon. During her travels, the Queen D. Leonor have seen the poor ragged and other patients to bathe themselves in the thermal waters of Caldas, that were in an inhuman condition. This event touched her and she built a standard brick, do not forget this place. The following year, the Hospital began to be constructed, for all their users to could find comfort. The village has developed around this building and under the protection of Queen D. Leonor; she created a halo projection to the arts and artists, which has to last for centuries.

She founded the Thermal Hospital located in Largo Thermal, built in 1485 and was regarded as the first thermal hospital in the world. The Queen Dona Leonor enjoyed its waters with those most in need, embraced by it. Among others:
  • Nossa Senhora do Pópulo Church – authorship of Master Mateus Fernandes, this church was elevated to parish church of the city. Its small dimensions have a huge mix of styles, among them is the Manueline style. In 1504, this church was the scene of one of the emblematic works of Gil Vicente, São Martinho Auto, protected by the Queen D. Leonor.
  • Espírito Santo Chapel – dates from the fifteenth century and later rebuilt in the eighteenth century and its interior is altarpieces of the sixteenth century, by Diogo Teixeira. This stands out in front, the shield of the Third Order of São Francisco. 
  • São Sebastião Chapel – in the Republic Square, also known as the Praça da Fruta, from which original design, there was only found the rosette panels and tiles.
  • Queen D. Leonor Statue – situated at the southern entrance of the city, next to Dom Carlos I Park. On May 15, the Volunteer Firefighters of Caldas da Rainha made their honor and tribute, on the official day of the city.
  • D. Carlos I Park Pavilions – built by architect Rodrigo Berquó a representative of the history of Caldas Thermal Waters. These buildings were meant to be the area of the internment from the Hospital, but were never used for that. Throughout time, these harbored several city institutions. A great ambition Rodrigo Berquó for these thermal waters was to transform the Hospital along with pavilions, in to a spa, to be one of the most important resorts of nineteenth century Europe. The pavilions were built near the lake and park, an image that would become one of the cards business cards city.
  • Glass Sky – a connection between Largo and the Thermal Hospital Park of D. Carlos I, are united by a bridge covered by Glass Sky, ornamented with wrought iron works, such as lamps shaped like a dragon. This was rebuilt according to the original, coming from the times of great activity in the Thermal Hospital, and is next to the old Casino and the former House of Culture. Currently, during cultural activities this space has small exhibitions and fairs.
  • Fountains – in Caldas da Rainha are three fountains, set in the ancient system of water supply, which was promoted by King D. João V, also responsible for the renovation of the Hospital in 1750. These fountains take on an element of the baroque period, situated at three different locations. The most iconic fountain is the Five Spouts, standing next to the Hospital, the path of Mata, through Republic Square towards the roundabout or the Queen, in order to Foz do Arelho. This along with the other two fountains, alludes to the seven daughters of Pleione Altas and OCEANIDE (female deity personified by waterways, which descends to the ocean).
Still protecting the cultural and artistic vein, Queen D. Leonor allowed the development of his legacy, and today the Caldas da Rainha is recognized as an art center:

São Rafael Museum House – located at Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro Street, it was founded in 1884, the factory produced pieces with local potter, Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro, different pieces being displayed in relation to the different periods of his life. Already, the collection of this Museum House is composed of ceramics produced over the years Bordallo Pinheiro Factory, retaining some original pieces and other copies of the artist, in the late nineteenth century.
  • Address - Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro Street, nº 53 2504-911 Caldas da Rainha.
  • Telephone: +351 262 839 380.
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  • Site:
  • Timetable - Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 12h30 (Visit by appointment).
Bordallo Pinheiro Artistic faience – official store Factory Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro, along with House Museum São Rafael, where a restaurant completely decorated with pieces of the factory.
  • Arts Center – is a structure protected by municipal Department of Culture, which aims to support the development of Arts and Culture. In addition to the Municipal Museums, this also includes infrastructure, created by the City Council, supporting artistic production and promotes events and activities in the cultural sphere. This provides the conditions for artists and students and deepening their professional and artistic development. Framing these are also temporary residency programs and private and institutional partnerships. Currently, the temporary exhibition galleries is – two in Atelier Museum António Duarte, one at Atelier-Museu João Fragoso and the Baqrata Feyo Museum.
  • Atelier-Museum of António Duarte – Inaugurated in 1985, after the donation of the collection of Master António Duarte (1912-1998) to his hometown, Caldas da Rainha. In this museum, one finds much of his sculptural production, distributed in several rooms that have provided public sculpture, made of models and mockups, to a more intimate and personal recording artist. You can also find the core of Sacred Art.
  • Atelier-Museum of João Fragoso – Inaugurated in 1994, this followed the cultural policy of the agency, started with Atelier Museum António Duarte. The museum was built to house the works of artist João Fragoso (1913-2000) and to create a space for the workshop to allow the continuation of his artistic production.
  • Concas Space – This small museum is installed in the building of the Municipal Ateliers, founded in 2009. You can find this piece of plastic works of painter Concas (1946-1991). These works show the several stages of life, the first drawings in Mozambique, work while attending the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon and a work which ended the day before his death. The painter Maria da Conceição Nunes joined the "Group Six", composed by various artists, which led to the School of Arts and Design of Caldas da Rainha.
  • Museum of Barata Feyo – Opened in 2004 and designed by one of the sons, architect António Barata Feyo, this collection gathers an important sculptor School of Porto. Salvador Barata Feyo (1899-1990) was a sculptor, essayist and educator, stood out with their works of portrait, sculpture and official religious sculpture.
Address – Ilídio Dr. Amado Street. 2500-217 Caldas da Rainha.
Telephone: + 351 262 840 540.
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Timetable – Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 14h to 17h30. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 9:00 am to 13 and from 15h to 18h
Ceramics Museum – located in a romantic palace, this museum consists of a large collection of pottery, organized thematically, covering the sixteenth to the twentieth century, comprising the ceramic cores: contemporary, representative of the main centers, foreign and Caldas. The museum also presents an important sector of tiles.
  • Address – Ilídio Beloved Street - Apartado 97 2504-910 Caldas da Rainha.
  • Telephone: +351 262 840 280.
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  • Timetable – Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 12.30pm and from 14h to 17h.
Cycling Museum – opened in December 14 of 1999, and brings together pieces that represent the history of cycling in Portugal. This is managed by the Association for Cycling Development (ADC), is integrated in the City Council of Caldas da Rainha, the Portuguese Cycling Federation and the Sporting Club of Caldas. ADC aims at promotion of cycling and its history, through actions to promote the sport, estate collection and cycling track record, technical and pedagogical training in cycling area, through the use of bicycles, promote and streamline sports events also develops publications editions and area events such as conference, seminars, among others, to promote this.
  • Address – Camões Street. 2500-107 Caldas da Rainha.
  • Phone: +351 262 839 700
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  • Timetable – Tuesday to Friday - 10am / 1230 - 14h / 17.30. Saturday - 10h / 12h30 - 14h30 / 17h. Sunday - 10h / 12h30 - 14h / 17.30.
Museum of the Hospital and Caldas – The buildings have originated in ancient "Caza Real", known to have assisted the Queen Dona Leonor during his visits to the city. This museum presents the memories of the institution and the urban space that has developed over time. Its estate consists of painting, sculpture, woodcarving, jewelry, vestments, furniture, ceramics, graphic documents, medical and scientific instruments from the twentieth century.
  • Address – Rodrigo Berquó Street. 2500 Caldas da Rainha.
  • Phone: +352 262 830 300
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  • Site:
  • Timetable – Monday to Friday from 10am to 12pm and from 14h to 17h. Saturday: 9.00am to 12pm and from 14h to 17h. Sundays and holidays: 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
José Malhoa Museum – in the center of Dom Carlos I Park, this museum has a collection of paintings, sculptures, medals and pottery from the last quarter of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The sector of the painting contains a set of works by José Malhoa, while the ceramic core focuses on the works of Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro.
  • Address - D. Carlos I Park. 2500-109 Caldas da Rainha.
  • Phone: +341 262 831 984
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  • Site:
  • Timetable: Tuesday to Sunday from 10h to 12h30 and from 14h to 17h30

Bernardo Museum – it aims to support, advocacy and dissemination of contemporary art, through events such as exhibitions, cycles, exhibitions and international exchanges, among others. The museum presents an alternative schedule, and occupies two spaces, the museum and the Casa Bernardo, lies in a neighboring villa neighborhood to Park D. Carlos I.
  • Address - Eng Duarte Pacheco Street, No. 16. 1st left, 2500, Caldas da Rainha
  • Mobile - +351 966 319 599
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  • Site:
  • Timetable – for more information contact by telephone or visit the museum. 
In order to maintain the artistic spirit of the city, it were developed others infrastructures to support organizations that promote art and Portuguese culture:

Cultural Center and Congress of Caldas da Rainha – This contemporary modern building opened on 15 May 2008, aims to develop cultural activities, among musicals, theaters and exhibitions and also organizing and conducting conferences.
  • Address –Dr. Leonel Sotto Mayor Street. 2500-227 Caldas da Rainha.
  • Telephone: +351 262 094 081/ +351 262 889 650
  • E-mails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Youth Center – focused space for youth activities which arise linked to culture, music, dance and exhibitions.
  • Address – 25 de Abril Square. 2500-110 Caldas da Rainha
  • Telephone: +351 262 839 700
Theatre of Rainha – professional theater company and training center of dramatic arts with 27 years of life, performed several pieces and shows off the parent (Caldas da Rainha), in Évora, Coimbra, Lisbon and Porto, promoting an experience of national and international tour. Eventually, it will have its own facilities, the Black Box.

For those who enjoy traditional trade, Caldas da Rainha shows their typical shopping streets:
  • Rua das Montras – its real name is Almirante Cândido dos Reis Street, but Caldas population calls this artery Rua Da Montras, since this has always been a traditional trade asset. This street is the bridge between the city and the historic center.
  • Camões Street – also involved in the traditional trade, especially in the area of ceramics. This is located one of the oldest bakeries in the city, Machado pastry. This street leads to the Thermal Hospital Largo, and its route is also the Museum of Cycling and Parqe nightclub, and allows access to the D. Carlos I Park.
  • Heróis da Grande Guerra Avenue – one of the main arteries of the city, one can find a variety of traditional trade between jewelry, perfumes, fashion shops, sports, decoration, among others.
  • Praça da Fruta – a great peculiarity of the city, is the only daily open-air market in the city center. This is sought for its organic production, where the most varied vegetables and fruits.


The D. Carlos I Park is always a big attraction for those who visit Caldas da Rainha, this park was designed and conceived by Rodrigo Berquó. This park emerges as a substituted for the Passeios da Copa, where the water of the Thermal Hospital passed after the treatment. The D. Carlos I Park is the true green lunge of Caldas da Rainha, where is possible to find seventy plant species and a diverse avifauna. Beyond its architectural and landscape significance, which represents one of the cultural interest most visited, since it has the José Malhoa Museum, the Coffee Pópulus, the Boat House, several cultural, sportive activities and the Antiques Fair.

Near the D. Carlos I Park, you can find the Queen Dona Leonor Wood, a environmental area where you can see one of the most important resources underground aquifers, which has to be protected and its construction was finished in the final XIX century. Involved in the hospital complex, the construction of this wood corresponded to a structure of stands and terraces, arranged by leafy boulevards, sharing the species of flora and avifauna. Its visit is essential for those who appreciate the harmony beyond the city and the nature.

The Foz do Arelho beach along with the Óbidos Lagoon complete Caldas da Rainha, for its true beauty and landscape value that is a fragile ecosystem, composed by several waterfowl and migratory birds and bivalves species, which are are part of a privileged habitat. The Óbidos lagoon extended to the Óbidos village until the middle age, but with the line coast was being developed; there were a limitation in the perimeter. This lagoon is a zone with a great production capacity and economic, social and environmental richness developing. 

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