Tucked away in the heart of Coimbra, Portugal dos Pequenitos, or “Little Portugal,” is an enchanting destination, perfect for families and history buffs alike. This charming park brings to life the rich tapestry of Portuguese culture and heritage — all in miniature form!
💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Curious about Coimbra’s history? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the capital (in English). You can choose the tip you want to leave the guide—it’s entirely up to you!
Looking for accommodation in Coimbra? Take a glance at this handpicked selection of excellent-value hotels: accommodations in Coimbra.
Delving into Little Portugal
Situated in Coimbra, Portugal dos Pequenitos isn’t just your regular amusement park. It offers a fascinating and scaled-down look into Portugal’s illustrious history, architectural marvels, and deep-rooted traditions. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale, where Portugal’s legacy is whimsically recreated for both the young and the young at heart.
What can you expect? Think intricately crafted replicas of renowned monuments and quaint regional abodes. The park is a delightful blend of wonder and education, curated to ignite the imagination.
The Story Behind Portugal dos Pequenitos
The brainchild of Professor Bissaya Barreto and architect Cassiano Branco, this miniature marvel was conceived in 1938 and opened its magical gates to the public in 1940. It’s worth noting that this was a time when Portugal was under Salazar’s tight grip. Barreto, a fervent nationalist,
envisioned this park as a canvas to instill a sense of national pride in the younger generation, all under the shadow of the prevailing political climate. While the park’s inception cannot be entirely divorced from its historical backdrop, today’s visitors can still marvel at its artistry and attention to detail.
It’s essential, though, to appreciate it with an understanding of its roots in a bygone era of strong nationalist sentiments.
💡 A Bit on Salazar 💡
In 1933, António de Oliveira Salazar rolled out the Estado Novo or “New State,” an authoritarian regime that shaped Portugal until 1974. Salazar’s tenure brought about economic stability but at a considerable cost to civil liberties, marked by heavy censorship and suppression. Rooted in nationalism and tradition, he also clung to Portuguese colonies in Africa. His regime concluded in 1974 with the Carnation Revolution.
Embarking on a Journey in Portugal dos Pequenitos
Stepping into Portugal dos Pequenitos feels like a page out of a storybook. If you’re roaming around Coimbra with family, this is a must-stop!
You’ll get to discover:
Historic Marvels in Miniature
Be transported into Portugal’s storied past. From iconic structures like the Batalha Monastery and Belém Tower to the renowned Coimbra University, these miniatures capture the nation’s architectural spirit.
Homesteads Across the Horizon
Travel coast to coast, experiencing the diverse regional architectures of Portugal. Whether it’s the sunny cottages of the Algarve or the rustic mountain homes, each model whispers tales of its origins.
Dedicate some time to the replicas of the Azores and Madeira islands, showcasing their unique terrains and lively traditions.
For those traveling with the little ones, Portugal dos Pequenitos often hosts interactive workshops that are both fun and informative.
A Blast from the Past: Traditional Professions
Jump into a time machine and get a feel of the old-world professions,
from pottery to weaving. It’s like strolling through Portugal of yesteryears.
Located near the serene Mondego River, the park is a breeze to reach, whether you’re driving or taking public transport from Coimbra’s heart. A number of bus routes conveniently lead to the park.
Open all year round, the park’s timings do change with the seasons:
- Summer: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Winter: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Regular: €14.95
- Kids (3-14 years): €9.95
- Seniors (over 65): €11.95
- Children below three enter for free.
Family packages are also available:
- 2 adults & 2 kids: €39.95
- 2 adults & 3 kids: €45.95.
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