|The name is a homage by the city of Coimbra, his birthplace, to Joaquim Machado de Castro, the most notable representative of 18th century Portuguese sculpture. The bishop's palace, which houses the collections, retains the fine 12th-century cloister, creating the ideal environment for one of the most complete art collections in Portugal.
Many of the exceptional objects now on display came from the chests, cabinets and altars of the churches of the region's old convents. Pieces like the 12th century chalice of D. Gueda Mendes, and an enchanting late 18th-century silver Virgin and Child, a splendid silver-gilt monstrance, the Treasury of Queen Santa Isabel, are highlights of the collection of Portuguese gold and silver. With Gothic wooden sculpture, in particular the admirable figure of the Black Christ, 16th-century sculpture, furniture and ivories, Portuguese painting and Flemish Primitives, the Machado de Castro museum?s collections reflect the richness of the Church and the royal patronage.
Below the museum, visit one of the most impressive buildings from the Roman era still preserved in Portugal: a huge, monumental series of galleries, on two storeys, which are thought to have been designed to support an enormous square or a forum in the ancient city of Aeminium (Coimbra).