Bread and its history at Museu do Pão

Jan 18, 2020Center of Portugal

Bread has been part of our daily lives for centuries. And in Portugal, bread is one of the bases of our nutrition. There are still some villages where the making and baking of the bread involve the community. 

In Seia, near Guarda, there’s the Bread Museum – Museu do Pão

‘I don’t like the smell of freshly baked bread,’ said no one ever. This smell triggers one of the most vivid memories of my childhood. Add butter and warm chocolate milk, and I’m five years old again.

It not only a museum. It’s an experience!

The Museu do Pão

The ‘Museu do Pão’ is a private museum founded to collect, preserve, and to exhibit all objects and heritage related to bread. The museum invites you on a tour to the incredible world of bread and bread-making. Bread has different features: ethnographic, political, social, historical, religious, and artistic.

The Museum opened its doors in 2002, but the process started long before, in 1996. During this period, all the assets were purchased at antique shops, bookstores, and auctions or donated to the museum. It is a continuous process, as the aim is to enlarge the collection and continuously renew the museum’s offers.

The visit starts outside. Appreciate the building, which was renovated and enlarged with typical materials from the area: wood and stone. It is completely integrated into the surrounding landscape. 

It is the biggest bread museum in the world.

Museu do Pão’ is divided into four exhibition rooms: the bread cycle; the art of bread; political, social and religious bread, and thematic space.

Bread cycle

Here we find a reconstruction of the old Portuguese traditional bread-making process, through 14 illustrated panels, where you can see the implements and utensils used. It displays the different moments of the bread-making process.

There is also the replica of a traditional Portuguese bakery, with real size models and three mills that are in continuous operation.

The art of bread

There’s a tradition of depicting traditional activities in tiles, wood, postcards, calendars, ceramics, silver, sacred art, etc.. In this area, you’ll find objects that depict different stages of the bread-making process or honor that tradition.

Political, social, and religious bread

We will see everything of the history of bread. From 1640 to 1974. There are also some objects representing the importance and presence of bread in religion – only in Christianism and Judaism, which are the only two that use bread as a sacred symbol.

Thematic space

Dedicated to the youngest visitors. A place where they will learn a lot about bread, its history, and traditional process with the help of the ‘Hermions tribe’! The guardians of the ‘Hermion Mountains’, that will take them on an imagined and mythical journey into the history of bread.

The restaurant and the shop

Don’t miss the opportunity to have lunch at the museum’s restaurant. It’s a welcoming space, and the food is quite delicious. Finish our visit with a stop at the museum’s grocery shop, where you’ll find bread and all the things that go well with it: jams, olive oil, a wide variety of traditional Portuguese sausages.

We love our country and are fans of our traditions. That is one of the reasons why we like to travel around and explore Portugal with you. Join us on this journey and learn more about all the things that make our country a unique destination!

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