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Monday, June 30, 2014

Adventures in Portugal: Museums!

So I've been to a couple of museums so far. The Museu dos Coches in Belem and the Museu do Brinquedo in Sintra. Which means I got to see some cool old carriages and an awesome collection of antique toys from around the world. The carriage museum talked about the different kinds of carriages and the history thereof. 

 The carriages were all used by the Portuguese royal family and generally covered with elaborate carving and painting. Lots of it was in gold. I wish I had a good picture of the ceremonial carriages they made for the Pope... they were COVERED in gold carvings, huge ones that you'd expect to find in a palace. But they were on the coach. I guess with all the gold it just didn't photograph well. Too shiny. I think it was gold paint or gold leaf, really. One of them depicted Apollo with the 4 seasons, allegorically represented as women. Cool stuff.



Here's a close up from one of the carriages. I think it's a sphinx. Very cool.

This was used in tournaments. People on horses had to hit the shield with a lance and ride away before the whip could fly around and knock them off the horse.

Close up carvings from Mariana Vitoria's coach, if I remember correctly. Above you see her initial, below you see the Portuguese coat of arms, I believe. Surrounded by seemingly angelic figures.




Here are a couple of boots. Older coaches didn't have a spot for drivers to sit. Instead, they had people to ride the horses and point them in the right direction. The boots were to make sure their legs didn't get smashed between the horses.

This is a camp be. It folds out of that trunk and I believe it's meant to be used on military expeditions.

A sedan chair. This one would be carried by mules. 

Traveling coach, with a table. 

Smaller coach, presumably faster.

A fast travelling coach, which could be driven by the occupant.

The second to last Portuguese king and his oldest son were assassinated while riding in this coach. 


 The Toy Museum was pretty cool. I meant to go explore the Roman temple I heard about, but they wouldn't let me use my ticket to get back into the palace grounds, and I didn't want to pay to get in again. So I went back to the historic downtown of Sintra and went to the toy museum. It only cost 3 euros to get in and it was good for at least an hour and a half of exploring. I found all sorts of awesome toys. There were too many to take pictures of all of them. So I just got some pictures of some of my favorite things.
Turns out it's not 1980's Space Guy. They were around from at least 1979. And they are having lots of fun on their lunar base. In this same display, there were also knights and pirates. No Middle Zealand though. 

This is a paper mache sheep that makes noise with a miniature bellows. 

And here is a paper mache doll.

This is a display full of working steampowered toys. Engines. As toys. It's brilliant.

One of MANY tin cars. Very many.

Giant tin car! With large dolls riding in it. Large, child-sized dolls.

The Red Baron! 

And a Sopwith Camel! Snoopy would be so happy. There were lots of models of battles, with all sorts of metal soldiers and accessories.

This is a display of Japanese carvings portraying the arrival of Portuguese explorers.

Here's a larger picture of the same display. There was glass. This was as good of a photo as I was able to get.

More Japanese dolls. 



Japanese carvings of people in tubs. Very cute.

Even more Japanese dolls.


And a slightly larger-than-life statue of BATMAN!