Fundação de Serralves (Serralves Foundation)

July 10, 2024

The Serralves House, a striking example of Art Deco, has long been a focal point for the Foundation's exhibitions.

The Serralves House is a notable example of Art Deco architecture in Portugal and was declared a building of public interest in 1996.

The Serralves Foundation (in Portuguese, Fundação Serralves) is an esteemed cultural institution with a forward-looking perspective on Art and Landscape, holding the distinction of being one of Portugal's premier cultural establishments, particularly in the north of the country. The Foundation's rich landscape and architectural legacy embraces the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Deco House, the Manoel de Oliveira Cinema House, and Serralves Park, stretching over 18 hectares and featuring a Treetop Walk, an elevated walkway offering breathtaking views of the treetops. 

The Serralves Foundation has a captivating history that began in 1989, marked by a collaborative effort involving the Portuguese government, public and private institutions, and individuals. The revered Serralves House, built in 1940 under the commission of the 2nd Count of Vizela, Carlos Alberto Cabral, has long been a focal point for the Foundation's exhibitions, until the inauguration of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1999, considered an architectural masterpiece by Álvaro Siza Vieira. Renowned for its architectural significance, the Serralves House, designed by the esteemed Portuguese architect Marques da Silva, is a striking example of Art Deco architecture in Portugal and was designated a building of public interest in 1996. The meticulously designed Serralves Park spans over a century of landscape architecture, blending remnants of the 19th-century garden, Quinta do Mata-Sete, the Serralves House Garden, and the landscape of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Museum of Contemporary Art regularly showcases both permanent and temporary exhibitions by renowned international artists.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, considered an architectural masterpiece by Álvaro Siza Vieira and place of regular and fixed exhibitions of Contemporary Art by the most renowed international Artists.

The garden at Serralves House is also an exquisite example of 20th-century landscape architecture. Extending towards the Douro River, this meticulously crafted garden is a testament to the vision of Jacques Gréber, a renowned French architect and urban planner, who dedicated eight years to its creation, from 1932 to 1940. Within the park, visitors can explore a variety of unique areas, such as the currently undergoing restoration rose garden, the intricate Sundial Garden, and the Camellia Garden, where aromatic herbs and other plants are available for purchase. Additionally, the park features densely wooded sections, creating tranquil and immersive natural environments for visitors to enjoy. The lake on the lower floor, in which the garden space leads, is accessed via a picturesque staircase, which adds to the allure of this enchanting landscape.

Serralves, known for its prestigious status, is the proud host of the famous Serralves em Festa, an annual festival that has been captivating audiences since its inception in 2004. This festival offers free access to a diverse range of artistic expressions and is a landmark of artistic expression in Portugal, acclaimed globally. Over the years, this event has become a meeting point for national and international visitors, with a rich and multidisciplinary program that coexists harmoniously with the exceptional cultural and natural heritage of this space.